Five Gauteng teachers visit space camp with Honeywell

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Aerospace systems provider Honeywell has partnered with the Gauteng Department of Education in an effort to support new teaching methods and boost children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, sending five teachers to space camp.

The teachers visited the US Space & Rocket Centre (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama, where they spent a week taking part in a series of space and technology activities.

This is the latest initiative of Honeywell’s Adventures in Aviation programme, which was launched in November.

The teachers were from Bovet Primary, Lyndhurst Primary, Mikateka Primary, Halfway House Primary and Nokuphila School in Gauteng. They were chosen from the Department of Education’s twinning school programme. The teachers were part of the pilot project that took place last year.

“Through the Honeywell Adventures in Aviation initiative, we are inspiring tomorrow’s generation of engineers, scientists, programmers and technologists to reach their potential, and build careers that make a positive impact on the world we live in,” says Honeywell Africa president Sean Smith.

“We are committed to ensuring the country benefits from not only the very best industrial technology but also skills and capabilities within its workforce.”

In a statement, Honeywell says the teachers attended 45 hours of classroom and laboratory instruction focused on science, space exploration and leadership skills development.

“In addition to learning new instructional exercises, including coding challenges, the teachers built a network of peers from around the world to continue collaborating on, and developing, their STEM education goals.”

Before the teachers left for space camp, Lyndhurst Primary school teacher Sive Ngwantwini said the programme was an eye-opener to a world of possibilities connected to STEM subjects for many students.

“It has ignited a new level of hunger for learning about these important subjects. I am looking forward to sharing the knowledge we gain at the USSRC with my colleagues on my return so that even more students benefit from new ways of teaching these fundamental STEM skills.”

In February, Honeywell sent nine South African students to the USSRC to participate in its Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy. During the two-week course, the students joined 280 other students to engage in real-world, hands-on challenges that encourage interest in coding, computer sciences, space exploration and aeronautics.

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