ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS SOUTH AFRICA
Solar Generator Project
Renewable energy is often named the future of energy production, and the need for people to be educated on this issue increases. Kayamandi is a township on the outskirts of Stellenbosch Central. For many Kayamandi High School students studying a Stellenbosch University seems to be an impossible goal to reach. Our objective with the project was to impact the lives of these learners by sparking an interest in their engineering and technological curiosity. Our hope is that one day these learners would become our peers on campus and contribute to the upliftment of our society with engineering.
The project’s goal was to build individual portable solar power generators to provide the learners with a safe and portable power source in their homes. The system housed two USB ports to charge mobile devices and bright LED lights to be used for studying.
It is very important to make our members feel part of our project and personally have an impact in our programs. Our volunteers were split into four groups of no more than five volunteers and each group had to plan their lesson. Lessons took place over a period of four with one lesson per week. The first lesson was theory based where the learners were taught about what solar power is, how it works, a safety lesson and practising with the soldering iron. The learners were eager to learn and had many questions. The following week, the lessons started with the battery circuit by first explaining how a battery stores energy and how far it can be discharged. The students preceded to build their own battery circuits. Next, lessons moved onto the solar panel, voltage regulator, and peripheral modules like lights, USB ports and voltmeters. The final lesson was the finishing touches with a small certificate ceremony.
We would like to thank our volunteers and sponsors for this project. With great feedback and success of this project, EWB Maties will look to this project as a template for other projects in the future.
2016 is said to be the most successful year of EWB-Maties. Our welcoming event started on the 9th of February. With a great turnout, we introduced our new members to what EWB-Maties represents and what they can achieve with us. The marshmallow and spaghetti challenge was used as an ice-breaker. The aim was to build the tallest structure from spaghetti, a bit of string and cello tape within 15 minutes. The structure had to be topped off with a marshmallow. It required on-the-spot thinking, quick planning and clear communication between the groups.
On the 16th of February we hosted our annual Human Centred Design Course(HCD). This year we hosted the HCD as a one-day event filled with thought-driven students. We proposed new projects and discussed on ways to achieve them. We also announced our new 2017 Executive Committee: Yusuf Dohoda: Secretary, Julian Daniels: Chairperson, Catherine Anderson: Project Coordinator, Vuyo Ndayi: Treasurer and Cailin Perrie: Vice-Chairperson.
On the 22nd of March, we hosted our teaching workshop, presented by Amy Daniels, a lecturer at Stellenbosch University. The event was used to prepare our volunteers for the Computer Literacy Course where EWB-Maties will be tutoring the grade 8 learners of Makupula High on various computer literacy skills. The workshop included discussions of the Z-generation’s characteristics and personalities and how we teach accordingly. We delved into lesson planning as well as teaching practice. The lessons will start on the 24th of April.
We are in the currently in the planning phase of other projects. On the 28th of March, we will be presenting our Solar Generator Project to the grade 10 and 11 learners of Kayamandi High to see if there is a need for solar generators in the community. On the 31st of March, the executive committee will be giving a talk to potential engineering students from Khayelitsha about life as an engineering student at Stellenbosch University as well as the EWB-Maties society. With our vision and goals set, 2017 has big shoes to fill. Let’s hope our dreams come true.
2016 has been the defining year for EWB at Stellenbosch. Being the new born child amongst other chapters, we have managed to develop from crawling to walking, and the coming years will definitely be an opportunity to run to greater heights. We had our most successful projects thus year, from the tutoring sessions, to the application run and the adopt-a-school painting projects. The Application by far serves as our most successful project. It aimed at helping matriculants with tertiary applications and introducing them to various career options through a career expo. The painting project was also a success, we managed to paint a room (leadership room) for a school we work closely with; Makapula High School in Kayamandi. The room was painted, and redesigned to give it a leadership feel for the young leaders at the school as their creative and meeting space.
So many things happened between our success projects, small and big, failures and successes, but none of it would have happened without the collaborative efforts of our executive committee and our committed members. We have seen a huge growth in our membership statistics, and are more than thankful to each and every individual who chooses to be part of EWB and adheres to what we stand for and contributes to the vision we have. Come 2017, we will be bigger and better, and most importantly, we will continue being the change we want to see in our communities.
We Finally Got Our EWB-Maties T-shirts.
The "Adopt A School" idea is a way of trying to keep focus with a specific project on continuous basis. Thus by adopting a school, we are indirectly declaring collaboration with a school to be of assistance in anyway that is possible. From painting the school, restructuring the library, to academics. Makapula High School, situated in Kayamandi, is the school we are having effective communication with, it is more than willing to have us at their school to be sources of change, and inspiration to the learners, to show that change can only come when you take the initiative and dedicate the time in making it sustainable.
For those interested in creating an even stronger bond with the school and learners, the school had indicated that they would like to get the learners involved in the forever evolving tech-world through computer lessons and tutoring. The above pictures were taken on one of our tutoring sessions, which we have on weekly basis, Saturdays.
EWB-Maties members and the school learners have shown great interest and enthusiasm for the sessions.
The plan is to also focus on other ideas such as:
Repainting the school is one of our key projects for next semester, as from July. We are in great need on any form of assistance, from paint brushes to the paint. The help from anyone who is able to would be greatly appreciated, both by EWB-Maties and the school.
A flashback to the awesome 3D Printing event.
EWB-Maties hosted a design session in collaboration with Autodesk. The insightful, knowledgeable and creative team from Autodesk in North America spent time in Kayamandi township over the course of their stay in South Africa, doing outreach, and took time to have us host them for 3D design workshop in Fusion 360, an innovative new software of Autodesk. The event took place on 14 April 2016, at the university’s library auditorium.
The focus of the workshop was: Rain Water Collection, Storage and Purification: Build on techniques from design thinking, agile problem-solving, and 3D design to create realistic solutions to help with rain water collection. The event created an incredible space for ideas and practical solutions, an insight on the technological approach of problem solving, specifically with the Rain Water Collection, Storage and Purification!
20 February 2016, the day in which EWB-Maties HCD (human centred design) course took place. The HCD course plays a very vital role into the start of the year, especially when we brainstorm ideas on how to come up with solutions and implement them after identifying a need or problem. The course also acted as a bridge for those who were unable to come to the welcoming event, it gave a broader understanding of EWB, and the approach in which we would like to take in empowering our nearest community in need, Kayamandi.
The point of course was to come up with effective ways to engage with the community and how to improve collaborations. It gave an idea of how to observe the experiences of the community, and analyse the challenges and opportunities and envisioning future possibilities. Most of the ideas for the year were brought up in the 3 hours long course, it paved a path with our plans for the year, precisely our projects.
The course is made of the four pillars; discover, ideate, prototype and moving forward. Overall, the course for EWB-Maties is a mindset that equips with creativity to create positive impact, that is human centred; forming collaborations that keeps us unstuck on the ‘engineering bubble’ or our comfort zones, and allow us to be optimistic while experimenting with ideas.
On the 16th of February, second week of Stellenbosch University’s academic calendar, we held an event to welcome all EWB-Maties members (Maties), old and new, after two weeks of recruitment through societies fair and personal branding around campus.
The event aimed to give a brief idea and understanding of what EWB is about; to inspire engineers (and anyone else whose interested) to empower communities, by being social agents of change and community development that is driven by engineering skills. It was made clear that EWB serves as a platform to use the engineering sector for people to live their passions and unfold their potentials, to work with compassion to achieve long term
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Empowering Engineers to Empower Communities
2016 | EWB-SA is a registered non-profit company | NPC 2013/014531/08