Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy is a week-long experience that encourages students’ pursuit of STEM careers
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 18, 2020 Honeywell has sent nine South African students to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) in Huntsville, Alabama, as part of the 10th annual Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy (HLCA). Between 23 and 27 February 2020 the learners joined 287 other students from countries across the world for a once-in-a-lifetime programme of real-world, hands-on activities spanning coding, computer science, and astronautics.
Open to High School students (from 16 to 18 years old), the programme is organised by Honeywell and the USSRC to encourage young people to pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. With the 30 fastest-growing occupations globally all related to STEM topics, engaging students in science and engineering has become a learning fundamental.
“As a software industrial technology leader at the forefront of the internet of things, STEM subjects are extremely important to Honeywell. We have been sending African students to space camp since 2013, and in that time have provided an opportunity to 32 deserving learners to experience first-hand the practical aspects of aeronautics and space exploration,” said Sean Smith, President of Honeywell Africa. “HLCA has given some of South Africa’s bright young minds a new way to get inspired and excited by STEM subjects. We are very proud of the way our African learners have embraced the programme, and of everything they have achieved as a result.”
During the immersive week-long programme designed to enhance both self-supported learning and team work, students develop STEM leadership skills through immersive and interactive tasks including building, coding and testing rockets, simulated astronaut training, shuttle missions, and a low-gravity moonwalk. Students also use computational thinking and computer science to deepen their digital skills.
This is what five of the students had to say about their experiences:
• “It was such an amazing and eye-opening experience with plenty of knowledge shared by the facilitators,” said Xolisile Mazibuko from Hendrina.
• “Space camp is a life changing experience,” said Brandon Wilkinson from Cape Town.
• “It taught me self-discipline and made me realise that you should chase your dream. Sometimes in life you have to fail in order to know what you should achieve,” said Deandre Reddi from Johannesburg.
• “The experience was life changing for me! Learning to be part of a team had a great impact on my leadership ability and my confidence. I learned to think on my feet. I really grew as a person,” said Treney Ramroc from Johannesburg.
• “Because of this experience I have so much to look forward to in my future. Thank you Honeywell for changing my life and my future,” said Kiyaan Begg from Roodepoort.