The GirlCAD initiative by the South African Institute of Mechanical Engineers (SAIMechE) took place at the Mechanical Engineering Building, Howard College.
GirlCAD is an initiative by the SAIMechE student chapter of UKZN in which high school girls from in and around Durban are introduced to Computer Aided Drawing (CAD). This project was co-ordinated by Lindelwa Dlamini and Michael Geytenbeek as part of the SAIMechE social outreach.
‘When girls enter Engineering, they usually don’t have a technical drawing background, which makes it difficult for them to integrate into the degree. The programme entailed an hour lecture and a tutorial, where members of the student chapter were the tutors,’ said Dlamini.
This initiative received sponsorship from Women in Engineering (WomEng), a global organisation dedicated to uplifting women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers. ‘They sponsored us with pink hardhats, bags and a booklet about women in the STEM with Shivashni Pillay as the WomEng representative and the provincial co-ordinator for GirlEngineering,’ said Dlamini.
This initiative started in August 2017 and it was held with permission of Professor G Bright and the help of Mr Shaun Savy. All girls from girls’ school are invited to participate the only requirement is that they be a Mathematics student and interested in STEM careers.
‘We offer this course as most girls’ schools in Durban do not offer Technical Drawing to their students. With the exception of two girls’ schools, students need to be in either co-ed schools or in a boys’ school to do Technical Drawing. Grade 11 and 12 learners are the groups we have formulated this course for,’ said Dlamini.
Words: Manqoba Hadebe