EBIT Week attracts future #GirlBosses

Posted on July 11, 2018

‘Amazing’ and ‘exciting’ are words that high-school learners used to describe their visit to the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) at the University of Pretoria (UP) this week.

EBIT hosts a biannual, week-long event which affords Grade 10 to 12 school learners a chance to familiarise themselves with careers in engineering, the built environment, information technology (IT) and related disciplines. The event is intended to help learners make an informed decision about their field of study. As part of the programme, learners obtain hands-on experience through off- or on-campus industry exposure and interaction with senior students and academics.

The latest EBIT Week hosted its biggest ever cohort of prospective female students. It is several years since the Faculty embarked on its Women in Engineering drive, a concerted effort to attract more women into a field that is traditionally male-dominated. Nearly 100 female learners formed part of a group of 295 learners from all over the country who participated in several activities.

The Faculty collaborated with industry partners to help sponsor students’ attendance of EBIT Week. There were 25 sponsored learners who were able to attend the event courtesy of MultiChoice. The other sponsors were BSTEP and Sentech. The Faculty’s departments of Civil Engineering, Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, Informatics and Architecture also contributed towards sponsoring learners for the event.

Mpho Madisha from BSTEP, Tashmika Ganesh from Merebank Secondary School in Durban, Mandla Ndlovu from Multichoice and Lethabo Mapheto from SJ van der Merwe H. School in Limpopo

Lethabo Mapheto (17), from SJ van der Merwe High School in Limpopo, was thrilled to be at UP. ‘This event gave me the opportunity to be informed about programmes offered in the School of IT and specifically Informatics. We played Ninja games and did animations, programming and coding. We were exposed to different careers and everybody we met was friendly and hospitable,’ she said.

Lethabo is considering studying Informatics at UP, which she believes has the best IT degree in the country. ‘My uncle studied Electrical Engineering at UP and he is a successful engineer,’ she said.

Tashmika Ganesh (17), from Merebank Secondary School in Durban, made new friends at EBIT Week and wants to become an automotive engineer. ‘When I was little I used to watch my grandfather build things and fix things around the house. He taught me how to fix things. He liked working on his car engine, so I know a lot about car parts and how to work on a car’s suspension. I want to become an automotive engineer so that I can make cars more environmentally friendly,’ she said.

Tashmika was full of praise for EBIT staff and students, whom she described as ‘very friendly’.

According to the Dean of EBIT, Prof Sunil Maharaj, ‘EBIT is home to a generation of leaders and innovators who are dedicated to improving their lives, the lives of their families, their country and the world.’




- Author Shakira Hoosain

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