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Future Witsies visit campus on Focus Day

- By Refilwe Mabula

Wits opened its doors on Saturday, 9 May 2015 to Grade 11 and 12’s from across the country for its annual Focus Day, aiming to expose students and their parents to the University’s culture, functioning and academic programmes.

According to Zaki Mtshali, Wits Brand Manager, about 7000 students registered to attend Focus Day 2015, which was themed Your launchpad to success. Mtshali said that although the final attendance figures are not accurately measurable, the turnout this year was much greater than in 2014. She attributed the increase in attendance numbers to moving the event to a different day. 

“We usually had it on a Friday afternoon and this year we decided to move it to a Saturday to allow more people to attend,” said Mtshali.

Consultants from the various Wits Departments and Schools availed themselves to guide students and to answer to their questions. Attendees were also entertained with brain teasers, lab tours and talks across the spectrum to introduce students to their respective fields of interest.

The School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics set up a block construction game, prompting participants to unravel what the field of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics entails, in other words problem solving. 

Mpho Tlaka from Hututu Secondary School in Limpopo was the first winner for the day, walking away with a USB flash drive after managing to construct the wooden block.

Professor Charis Harley, an Associate Professor in the School, hailed Tlaka’s geometry skills and his ability to convert the instructions into a three-dimensional structure. “You are doing very well, don’t give up,” were her words of encouragement to the aspiring actuarial scientist.

“It is amazing how students have breakthroughs just because they have had the courage to stand up. The things that they end up solving are things they never thought they could solve, but because we believed in them and told them that they can,” said Harley.

The School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies also had a treasure hunt for their prospective students, which was aimed at familiarising the students to the different buildings on the Braamfontein Campus East and West as well as exposing them to the campus history.

Wits University is the first institution of choice in the country for matriculant Londiwe Makhuba from the Lenasia Secondary School. Although Makhuba is fairly sure that she wants to study nuclear engineering, she also took information packs from the Faculty of Humanities to familiarise herself with the various academic programmes Wits has to offer. “I experienced a different lifestyle today – the Wits lifestyle,” said Makhuba.

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