SMART YOUNG MINDZ ROLL OUT

SMART Young Mindz - South Africa's biggest mathematics, science, technology and entrepreneurship challenge for high school pupils in grades 8 to 10 - is being rolled out for 2010.

SMART Young Mindz - South Africa's biggest mathematics, science, technology and entrepreneurship challenge for high school pupils in grades 8 to 10 - is being rolled out for 2010.

The numbers of participating schools have been increasing since 2007, when 100 institutions were targeted, reaching about 20000 pupils.

In 2008, 230 schools were targeted, reaching up to 50000 pupils.

For 2009, 350 schools were reached, touching positively the lives of at least 70000 young people.

A greater number of entries is expected for this innovation of Gauteng's economic development vehicle Blue IQ, the Gauteng department of education, and Sowetan, for the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation.

Smart Young Mindz encourages pupils' interest in mathematics, science, technology and entrepreneurship, enhancing top achievers' chances of studying these learning areas at tertiary level and ultimately pursuing careers in these fields.

Pupils are urged to submit smart business ideas through an annual competition.

They are also motivated to investigate problems, wants and needs in their communities, and to generate commercially viable ideas for products or services that will fill gaps in the market.

The prize money has also been hiked. In 2007 the top three schools shared R60000. In 2008 the prize pool was R100000.

Last year's prize pool was R112000.

The reigning champions of the challenge are:

l The Way Christian School, which was represented by Kathleen Butler, Amy Lochner, Estelle du Plooy, Pamela Cloete and Danica van der Waag.

l Willowmoore High School, which comprised Chloe Melissa Fynn, Reshen Pillay, Kaviesh Gopal, Safeega Mohamed and Zainab Karolia.

l Roshnee Secondary School, whose team was made up of Mohamed Areff, Muhammad Monga, Suhail Ismail, Himal Gangaram and Zaheer Adam.

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