Denel is giving high school learners in six provinces a rare opportunity to brush up on their maths and science performance through tuition and exposure to living examples from the innovation that is embedded in aviation and defence products.
This year the Denel annual youth camps are hosted at the Denel Aeronautics campus in Kempton Park and in Queenstown in the Eastern Cape during the current school holidays.
Young engineers from Denel will give the camp-goers extra tuition in algebra, geometry and science, and SA Air Force engineers will bring physical science and mathematical concepts to life by offering insights into specialised areas such as the principles of flight, propulsion and navigation.
“We are giving them two weeks of solid learning in science and maths, while adding exciting access to a stimulating environment where theoretical classroom concepts can be seen, touched and experienced in the workplace,” says Vuyelwa Qinga, group executive for Communication and Public Affairs.
The camp will be about learning and physical activities that include drilling, exercises, daily flag hoisting ceremonies and flying in a South African Air Force plane, on 18 July, to mark Mandela Day.
Similar camps held in the Free State province in 2016 are credited with having pushed the province to leading the country’s overall performance in the matric pass rate last year.
The Denel Aeronautics campus will host 244 learners from high schools in Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and Gauteng. They will receive instruction from young engineers like Phumzile Nkosi of Denel PMP, Naadira Hassim of Denel Aeronautics and Judith Masemola and Marumo Talane of Denel Land Systems.
The camps form part of Denel’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI), whose flagship project is the School Outreach Programme (SOP), through which the company provides enrichment classes to learners from disadvantaged communities during weekends and school holidays.
The programme has resulted in pass rates of more than 95% in the end of year exams, and more than 60% of learners gaining university entrance in science and technology-related courses.
The 10-day Eastern Cape camp in Queenstown has 200 learners from the province and nearby KwaZulu-Natal, where Mike Dlulane, an electronic and computer engineer from Denel Land Systems, Suna Kutalo and Lesego Selemela from PMP will provide the tuition. The Queenstown group will also get an opportunity to visit a military base in East London.