News stories

GE Foundation Discovering The Next Generation of Engineers

L Mamane
June 17, 2022

The Next Engineers Johannesburg team, determined to carry out the GE Foundation's objective of inspiring the next generation of engineers, has reached a total of 455 Grade 8 learners across the Johannesburg education districts in just the first half of the year. For most learners, this is the kind of exposure they need to make informed decisions regarding their future careers. Being born and raised in a place where information about some careers is a privilege, learners showed appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to learn about engineering, to meet real life engineers, and to build something with their hands. The participants got to learn how Fire Extinguishers work and what Anti-Gravity is. They also got to design and build Geodomes and Band-Aids.

Not only does the Next Engineers: Engineering Discovery inspire the future of engineering, but the program also encourages parental support. Parents are invited to join in the Engineering Discovery sessions. For one learner, this was an opportunity to bond with the parent. In an anonymous survey, when asked what they enjoyed most about the session, the learner said, "I got to spend time with my mother and build something with her." GE Volunteers interacted with the learners, answering all the questions being thrown at them. 

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The learners were extremely curious about what engineering is and what one needs to do to become one. "It is one thing to hear about engineers and read about them. Seeing people like you, who grew up under similar circumstances as you, being engineers, is the best inspiration one could ever ask for," reported one learner. One thing that stood out for the majority of the learners, especially female ones, was seeing female engineers and interacting with them. Interacting with real life engineers and not just people they see in movies makes the career path feel attainable.

Engineering Discovery will continue to reach more learners and teach them about engineering in the second half of this year.