45 students from The Girls for STEM programme recently visited Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, to showcase to the girls how Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects can be put into action as a career in the field of renewable energy.
The Girls for STEM pilot programme aims to inspire grade nine girls towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects and careers. The programme is the first of its kind in the Eastern Cape to bring together the business, academic and technical communities to empower and inspire young girls through a series of interactions.
The programme is designed to encourage girls to understand their strengths and preferences with regard to STEM subjects. This will help them to understand their own possibilities and make informed decisions.
Responding to questions on the importance of renewable energy in South Africa and a choice of career in this industry, STEM girls had this to say.
Zintle Manelo, Collegiate Girls High School, Grade 9 said: “Technology is developing and engineering is intriguing. We need a source of energy that can last a lifetime and not disrupt the environment; these are some of the reasons why I would be interested in studying and working in the renewable energy sector.”
Zenande April, Urban Academy, Grade 9 said: “It is better to use natural resources and not deplete non-renewable resources; plus I’d like to build a home using renewable resources.”
Hermela Muscho, Urban Academy, Grade 9 said: “I have a passion for anything challenging and our country will eventually run out of coal, so it is in our best interests to use freely available renewable energy resources – such as wind and sun.”
The Girls for STEM Pilot Programme is run by NMMU in partnership with Propella Business Incubator, and funded by Charities Aid Foundation. For more information and to stay updated on the programme’s progress, visit Girls for STEM Facebook page: www.facebook.com/girlsforstem.