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Wits empowers future leaders through short course programme

- Wits University

Over 200 learners hailing from 55 schools in Gauteng recently participated in the second instalment of the Wits Integrated Experience (WitsIE) Short Course.

WIE winner: Lebohang High School

The annual event, held at Wits University’s main campus, saw these young minds brimming with enthusiasm as they presented their innovative Response Plans to a panel of experts. The goal of their presentations was to create a response plan that would reduce the possible dangers from an incoming asteroid crash.

The journey commenced in June when the learners embarked on an integrated real-world problem-solving exercise using a multidisciplinary approach with the help of the five faculties at Wits.

This year, they have been asked to investigate a predicted imminent impact of an asteroid close to Johannesburg. Learners were introduced to meteorites and impact craters before being briefed on the specific parameters of the possible catastrophe.

The learners took the challenge head-on and spent seven weeks coming up with creative Response Plans.

Zodwa Ndebele from the Schools Liaison Office said the presentations of the learners were extraordinary.

"They were innovative, solution-oriented, creative, and absolutely brilliant. We are looking forward to accepting them at the university in 2025. Learners showed us that they are thought leaders, future leaders, and so much more."

"Well done to Greenside High School and Lebohang Secondary School and to all the learners that participated. Thank you for being a part of WitsIE 2023!"

Six schools emerged as winners of the Response Plan Challenge, with two schools securing the top positions in each of the first, second, and third spots. On that very day, the collective efforts of all the students culminated in an awards ceremony during which certificates and prizes were distributed.

WIE Part two

The two schools that bagged the first position walked away with R25,000.

Bontle Vanessa Mohlala, a Grade 11 student from Lebohang Secondary School expressed that the programme significantly contributed to enhancing the group's communication skills.

"As a team, we were able to communicate regularly and come up with a solution to the problem that we were investigating. We are excited to take the first position in the competition. The programme has impacted our lives greatly. Now we know how different faculties can solve certain problems. We can't wait any longer to be Wits students."

Grade 11 learner Reza Saloogee, from Greenside High School who also took first position, said he considers Wits as his preferred university.

"Wits integrated Experience will majorly impact our future goals. We have come to learn that we are able to accomplish anything. We have learnt how all faculties can come together and solve problems. It was an amazing experience. We would choose Wits as our first choice."

Learners thanked their teachers for the unwavering support they received throughout the process.