Campus scoops second prize at prestigious technology exhibition

Dumile Mlambo -- Fri, 08/26/2016 - 12:11

Campus scoops second prize at prestigious technology exhibition

The Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) was recently awarded the second prize in the Best Exhibitor Competition, in the category for universities, during the annual Sasol Techno X Career Exhibition.

The exhibition – which is regarded as the largest career exhibitions in the country, took place at the Boiketlong Sports Centre in Sasolburg in the Free State from 15 – 19 August 2016.

This year’s annual exhibition saw the NWU Vaal’s Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology partnering with the campus’s Marketing and Communication Department to ensure maximum impact. Since the inception of the career exhibition in 2000, the NWU has been participating for the past 15 years.

More about the event

Sasol Techno X, is a week-long exhibition that focuses on displays, workshops, tours, talks and hands-on activities aimed at exciting learners, students and the general public about the endless possibilities of Science, Mathematics and Technology. It further seeks to expose, at a practical level, the many facets of technology and encourage learners to explore the wide range of exciting disciplines and career choices that mathematics, science and technology offer.

The expedition is generally recognised as one of the country’s biggest premier science and technology gatherings that focuses on igniting young minds while providing them with a platform to engage with real world applications as it pertains to their future studies, focusing on mathematics, science and technology and engineering.

Ms Naledi Hlabahlaba, an educational student adviser at the NWU Vaal, said achieving second place bears witness to the campus’s many accolades. She applauded the NWU Vaal project team who worked hard to make the achievement possible.

“This is a prestigious milestone for us. Over and above, this means that the university is being recognised for bridging the gap between education and business, contributing to the development of a generation of learners that are taking responsibility for their future and that of the community all whilst emphasising the importance of maths, science and technology,” says Hlabahlaba. 

While winning this award could be seen as adding yet another feather to the cap of the NWU Vaal, Hlabahlaba explains the importance of the campus’ involvement in initiatives such as the Sasol Techno X, by saying that it serves as an invaluable recruitment platform for the campus. “Since the event targets pupils between Grade 7 to 12, we view this as an important recruitment opportunity to maximise the NWU brand and to reach out to potential students,” she adds.

She also adds that seeing how science and technology fields are arguably some of the biggest role players within the South African economy, it was important to position the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology as the preferred destination for potential students looking to pursue careers within the fields of science and technology.

During the week, the faculty presented its three flagship programmes: Robotics, Serious Games Institute – South Africa (SGI –SA) and the bHive EDC (Enterprise Development Centre). According to Ms Jani Van Der Vyver, the faculty’s liaison officer, the showcasing of the financial calculators built by the Mathematics Department within the School of Information Technology over the past seven months (as part of an academic project) was the highlight of the event. She furthermore says that each of the faculty’s programmes were explained and practically applied for the benefit of the learners.  

“The Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology wishes to share its passion for mathematics and information technology with the rest of the world, showing young leaners and future leaders what can be done with these two subjects,” she concluded.