A report on the success of Engenius from ArcelorMittal

On 18 April 2013 the ArcelorMittal Science Centre Saldhana in Vredenburg, hosted an Engineering Career Day Programme for Grade 10 and 11 learners. The programme was developed by Engenius, a nationally coordinated stakeholder programme initiated and supported by the Engineering Council of South Africa, ECSA.
The approach adopted by the Engenius programme which focuses on influencing learners through ‘providing a dream’, proved to be very effective in inspiring and engaging learners.
The participation of the young engineering professionals was a key aspect of the success of the event. Learners were inspired by listening to and interacting with them. They could also relate to them as many of them come from similar backgrounds to theirs and have overcome adversity to achieve success in their studies and careers. The opportunity for learners to ask the young professionals questions about themselves and their work was also very effective as it allowed the learners to engage in a relaxed and fun way. The presence of female role models is also vital in encouraging girls to pursue careers in a field that is often perceived as being a male domain.
The hands-on workshop activity brought engineering concepts and the role of engineers in the world to life for learners and provided an effective alternative to simply providing learners with written information about the career. Learners participated enthusiastically and also had the opportunity to share their ideas with the engineers who facilitated the workshops. Presentations also developed confidence and communication skills.
The adaptability of the kits and other resources also means that the programme can be used for a wide range of age groups/ grades and different audiences and goes a long way in inspiring and empowering learners to pursue careers which will address the skills shortage in our country and continued engagement such as this is needed.
Report by  Adrienne Louw (Educator - ArcelorMittal Science Centre)