News stories

Final Design Challenges for 2023!

September 18, 2023

Part of Next Engineers mandate is to create a generation of engineers that is innovative, creative and solution-oriented. For the program to be effective, the participants ought to explore the different fields of engineering through the various Design Challenges that simulate real-life problems faced locally and globally. As we approach the end of the 2023 Engineering Academy program, our participants, in Cohorts 1 and 2, will be exploring the Aeronautical and Electrical Engineering fields respectively.

Cohort 1 Learners testing their designs
Cohort 1 Learners testing their prototypes

Our First Engineering Academy Cohort are diving into the world of aviation as they take up Glide Path as their last challenge for the year. In this challenge, they are expected to experiment with basic flight mechanisms such as horizontal and vertical stabilizers, dihedral, and control surfaces (ailerons, rudders and elevators). Also, through this challenge, learners will build an understanding of the physics of flight and the four forces of flight (lift, weight, drag and thrust). At the end of the challenge, learners are expected to have built a glider made of foam-board that has to meet several requirements under certain constraints.

Cohort 2 Learners drawing of their potential design
Cohort 2 Learners drawing of their potential design

One of the major crises that South Africa is currently facing is loadshedding. If we are to provide long-term solutions to this problem, we need to consider sustainable ways to generate and supply power. Our Second Cohort will be tackling this very complex challenge of power generation, on a smaller scale, of course, in a Design Challenge called The Power Of Wind. This time, the participants will attempt to generate electricity with wind as the power source. This will build the foundation of electrical engineering and, possibly, inspire ideas to solve the current energy crisis faced in the country.

Stay tuned to find out how the Design Challenges pan out!