STEM Academy launch at CUT

CUT is the foremost higher education institution in the heartland of South Africa, dedicated to quality education and training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). CUT continues to contribute to the improvement of quality education in schools, consequently making a positive impact in the socio-economic development of the region.

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Since 2013 a series of engagements took place between CUT, TVET Colleges and the department with a particular focus on development of sustainable collaborative initiatives that are directed towards the overall growth and development of the province in the field of academic excellence.

On 30 May 2018, the university launched the STEM Academy in collaboration with the Free State Department of Education (FSDoE), University of the Free State (UFS) and TVET colleges in the province.

Among the dignitaries who graced the event are Free State Premier, Honourable Sisi Ntombela, MECs Mr Sam Mashinini, Oupa Khoabane, Tate Makgoe, Ms Dora Coetzee and several HoDs within various departments.

The academy is envisaged to be a training and developmental hub for professional teachers and lecturers to improve content knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in schools, colleges and universities. The main objective is to expose learners and students to modern STEM laboratories and support existing initiatives such as Math-for-ALL Campaign.

Free State Premier Honourable Sisi Ntombela said that the launch marks an important day in the historical development of the Free State Province. “As a key national strategic player in the national and international discourse of the human development, we are witnessing a real regional collaboration that will promote sustainable growth and development of the Free State Province. This province will be taking the lead in the education and training sector through the establishment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy. The academy is going to put the Free State at the center of the 4th industrial revolution and help us promote and increase access to mathematics and science education. It will promote throughput pass rates in the STEM subjects in line with goals of the national development plan.”

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Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-Chancellor and Principal said “today we are launching a hub for development in training educators and lecturers in the field of science, engineering and mathematics and expose learners to the various fields in the STEM area.  Through this partnership, we will make an impact on our learners and education in the province. As a University of Technology, we are emerging as leaders in creating niche products and solutions that are almost impossible using conventional techniques.”

Palesa Loapo, a grade 11 learner from Commtech Comprehensive School, said she is hoping to learn a lot from the academy. She also indicated that she was impressed with what CUT has to offer and is also excited to be part of history in the making. “I have realised that with science, technology and math’s, and anything is possible. These subjects make us see what we thought was impossible. When I finish my grade 12, I want to study Chemical Engineering and hopefully contribute to building and enhancing the economy of South Africa.

 

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1. From left: Ms Kekeletso Thejane, Assistant Lecturer and master’s student at Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering demonstrating the Pelton wheel turbine machine to the FSPG delegates. The machine is driven by the jet of water which is supplied by the pump from the hydraulic bench. The water strikes the buckets to rotate and produce a torque and power to produce the electricity.

2. From left: Prof. Henk de Jager, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Free State Premier, Honourable Sisi Ntombela, MEC for Education, Mr Tate Makgoe and Palesa Loapo, a grade 11 learner from Commtech Comprehensive School unveiling the plaque.

Uploaded: 31 May 2018

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