The inaugural HIP2B² 3M Innovation Challenge kicks off in Cape Town on 14 May; Durban on 16 May; and Johannesburg on 21 May 2012 when Grade 10 learners from each city will compete for the coveted title of 'South Africa's Top Young Innovators', in a challenge focussed on inspiring innovation in everyday life.
Supported by 3M, as a partner, HIP2B²
, the youth organisation founded to promote the study of maths, science and technology-related subjects as a means to develop entrepreneurial skills and analytical thinking, kicks off with an Awareness Campaign, followed by an educational 'Info for Innovators Event'. Backed by the Department of Education in each participating province, the challenge is the brainchild of HIP2B².
Learners, who have participated in the information events, are invited to enter their own innovation in teams of two. For the innovation, they are required to identify a real problem that affects them, their family or community - from how to simplify everyday chores to how to stay safe - and propose a solution using the application of science and maths.
Through 3M's involvement, the learners will be exposed to the stories behind the company's many innovative products and the kind of thinking that makes it one of the leaders in innovation and they will be encouraged to view the way an idea progresses to market.Present projects, prototypes
From their submissions, five finalist teams will be selected by a judging panel of representatives from the partners and other industry experts with a science or technical background. Leading up to the final round, the finalists will have the opportunity to job shadow within industry during the September school holidays and to present their projects and prototypes to a mentor for input and guidance.
At 3M, the finalists will also be exposed to science and engineering related careers, encouraging them to choose studies leading towards these professions. Thereafter they will return to 3M headquarters in Johannesburg on 18 October for the Innovation Challenge Final, where judges will award one team with the prestigious title.
"We believe that innovation makes progress possible and that in order for creative thinking that results in great inventions to continue, we need to encourage youngsters actively to expand their minds," said Serita Esselaar, 3M manager corporate services. "The need for a skilled technology workforce is particularly great in South Africa, and can only be addressed through creating a culture of intellectual curiosity.""Awaken the innovator"
"We are closely aligned with HIP2B²'s inspirational quest to awaken the innovator in South African learners through changing teen's perceptions about maths and science and encouraging them to continue with these studies to matric and beyond. We are thrilled to be collaborating with them for this challenge, with its emphasis on local problem solving, which gives effect to the company's ethos of community citizenship. We want to see the project ultimately feeding the pipeline of scarce skills in the fields of engineering and technology and changing perceptions of these fields."
"The Innovation Challenge is the perfect opportunity for the organisation to work alongside our country's youth and inspire them to realise that with the application of maths and science, they can make a positive contribution and difference in their own communities," says HIP2B² GM, Cathryn Treasure.
"With this Challenge, we hope to show South Africa that amongst our youth there are ideas brewing that can bring about great change and that all you need is a healthy curiosity, a positive attitude and a good grounding in maths, sciences and technology-related subjects to lay the foundations for an exciting and fulfilling career, and a great life."