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 Social Impact - Stellenbosch University



AccessEd ZA 2022 Programme: Stellenbosch University On-Campus Graduation Event ZA 2022 Programme: Stellenbosch University On-Campus Graduation Event
MGD's legacy of almost six decades will live on through SU's legacy of almost six decades will live on through SU
MGD wraps up focus group engagements to prepare for intended incorporation into SU wraps up focus group engagements to prepare for intended incorporation into SU
SU student's innovation is among the top three solutions for world challenges student's innovation is among the top three solutions for world challenges
Deaf storytellers help Stellenbosch University to create teaching material storytellers help Stellenbosch University to create teaching material



The Amanzi Yimpilo project Amanzi Yimpilo project




South African Sign Language – Beginner Level 1A African Sign Language – Beginner Level 1A2023-08-04T12:00:00Z
Enabling meaningful social impact through student engagement meaningful social impact through student engagement2023-02-09T07:00:00Z
Social Impact Annual Symposium entitled Reimagining Social Impact Impact Annual Symposium entitled Reimagining Social Impact2022-09-01T07:00:00Z



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Latest InitiativesView all Initiatives​​​​ Exploring South African Biodiversity and Change Outreach Project​Iimbovane Outreach Programme is a curriculum-based initiative that focus on educating the youth about biodiversity and science while helping them develop much-needed practical science skills. Iimbovane ('ants' in isiXhosa) do this by actively engage learners in the collection, identification and analysing of ant species in their own school grounds while providing all the necessary support and equipment to do the practical investigations. Using ants as model species, Iimbovane has three key objectives, to: 1.Enhance secondary school learners' understanding of the biodiversity science and the scientific method, equipping them with practical science skills.2.Provide support to science educators to teach biodiversity science in a hands-on manner.3.Promote science as an attractive career among learners, especially girl learners.​​1555 of my Town: A multi-stakeholder approach towards resilient and sustainable communities. ​This Social Impact Initiative has as primary goal to collect and collate the required information to develop baseline data to inform the priorities and strategies for the holistic and multi-stakeholder community development project to be implemented following the survey. In addition, the data will be applied to add value to current development planning efforts in the Grabouw area to improve the quality of life, living standards and the resilience of the community to not only face but also productively address the challenges that resulted from the rapid and voluminous population and social changes over the past two decades. ​1546 Peo Project​Jala Peo is Sesotho for "plant the seed".The initiative was originally a vehicle for the National School Nutritional Programme (NSNP)Promotion of nutrition education - Improves nutritional knowledge & healthy food choices, promotes a healthy lifestyleSchool food and nutrition gardens (SFNGs) - Provide teachers & learners at primary schools with hands-on experience in agriculturul initiatives.Vision Statement:Every school in South Africa has a thriving food garden . The school garden serves as an educational resource to deliver quality education. Whilst providing a pleasant teaching and learning environment, the garden also promotes nutrition education , conservation of natural resources and greening of the community. Furthermore, fresh produce from thegarden contributes to the school meals.Impact Statement:If an educational district is endowed with an engaged and enabled multi stakeholder school food and nutrition gardening forumthen the forum will ensure that every school has the requisite resources and skills to sustain school food and nutrition gardens that are used in the delivery of the curriculum, for quality education outcomes.1549 WorkshopThe Ex-Cell workshop is a Stellenbosch University(SU) prison partnership – the first of its kind in South Africa. Its aim is to rehumanise learning by focusing on learning's social, ubuntu-focused dimensions – collaboration, community-building and connectedness. This workshop has a theme of empowering participants to be better prepared for the business world. SU is partnering with the Drakenstein Prison near Paarl.Given the current downturn in the economy, with record unemployment rates, this workshop is a capacity building workshop exposing participants to the ideas of creating their own businesses and/or potentially looking for employment. Parolees often struggle more than the general population to find employment due to their criminal history counting against them. This workshop, therefore, aims to upskill and create awareness of the situation as well as provide hope and linkage of opportunity and skills to participants.The Ex-Cell workshop outcomes are as follows: it aims to enable students to:· communicate effectively within the course context.· engage creatively with the course material with the aim of solving real-life problems.· function effectively as a member of a culturally diverse team.· take and maintain a point of view with respect to the various disciplines, as well as in relation to the interaction between disciplines, with due respect for the diversity of ideas.· reflect on their own learning and attitude to learning, and demonstrate learning growth/progression; and· have an increased commitment to the active promotion of social justice.1543 Teachers Professional Development Workshop / Financial Literacy Teachers Program 2023​​​Course of short duration presentred to grade 7, 8 and 9 Financial Literacy teachers in the Western Cape. A course will be presented on basic financial literacy (accounting equation and recording of financial information), economic and entrepeneurship principles. The course will be presented at the Centre for Teaching and Learning of the Western Cape Education Centre in Kuilsriver to an Afrikaans and an English group of teachers with separate sessions being presented for novice and advanced teachers.  All teachers from the Western Cape Schools will be invited. It is uncertain how many teachers and from which specific schools will attend. The WCED has indicated that subject advisors will encourage those teachers who need development to attend. The objective is to improve the teaching of Financial Literacy, to provide a solid foundation going forward into the field of accountancy and commerce.1544 and battery storage initiative to save schools money and get them through loadshedding​​​​​The majority of South Africa’s schools face financial challenges, and struggle to meet the basic educational requirements. Water and electricity bills are rising at a rate that is higher than inflation, and even more so for a basket of educational expenses. Moreover, overall per-peer budgets are in decline, and financial management at such institutions are complex with limited knowledgeable managerial resources available, especially at the lower-quintile schools. Our initial survey of five schools in Stellenbosch revealed that monthly costs ranged from R12,000 per month to R 100,000 per month (200kWh/day to 850kWh/day).  Our best estimates show that schools in South Africa are responsible for 3% of South Africa’s energy needs. Schools also have a disproportionately large impact on the environment. Based on smart meter measurements that were used for billing over the last three years at five schools, and using the conversion rates from the fossil fuel-intensive generation in South Africa, we estimate that each school has a CO2 footprint of approximately 500 kg/day on average. Even with a 50% conservative estimate to correct for affluence bias, this results in a staggering 6 million kg of CO2 caused every day by all the electrified schools in the country. Based on our pilot study described below, the main reasons for these high costs and large footprints are a lack of knowledgeable oversight and management; tardy feedback through monthly billing; inefficient electric loads (e.g. lights, fridges and borehole pumps); users being unaware (corregible behaviour); and lack of managerial ownership and incentives. Through effective intervention at schools, one would not only bring down the cost and reduce the resulting carbon footprint, but also achieve a more substantial reach into the community. Schools are socially responsible institutions and any initiatives towards them will be beneficial for the communities in which they exist. Moreover, every child that becomes aware and a responsible energy user, will be tomorrow’s responsible user at home, both now, and when they are older. It then makes sense to invest in schools to cultivate sustainable energy behaviours, which will result in alleviating the financial burden and the environmental stress caused by schools and the home. Moreover, increased interest in energy and renewables could lead to an increase in students interested in pursuing careers in these scarce-skilled professions. In addition to driving down usage and cost, a major concern for schools is making informed decisions when evaluating solar installations as a viable source of renewable energy. We have found that in many cases even the sales agents do not have the necessary know-how to calculate the savings or know how to optimally match solar availability with school demand. In fact, many schools are bamboozled into signing contracts with detrimental terms and rates (e.g. having to pay for generated power, rather than used power). This project will address this need also. Leading up to the proposed project, two related projects were successfully completed by the same team since 2017. The first was the SmartWaterMeterChallenge ( ), in which 360 million litres of water (R28 million) was saved in the drought of 2017/18 by 354 schools in Cape Town with support from two governmental and 93 corporate entities. The second was a small pilot project done on an absolute shoestring with some industry support. This so-called GreenClassroom project served as a precursor to the proposed project, in which smart meter data was used to characterise, and eventually affect through behavioural change, the energy usage of five (affluent) schools in Stellenbosch: Laerskool Stellenbosch, Laerskool Eikestad, Rhenish Primary, Rhenish Girls High, and Hoërskool Stellenbosch. In a controlled experiment three schools we sent visualised and digestible energy usage information from smart meters daily. Additionally, we presented to the schools’ staff on energy usage rates and resulting CO2 emissions of typical schools’ loads (e.g. urns, geysers, lights, fridge, etc). This project was done on a shoestring and was used to better understand the schools energy ecosystem. Within a couple of weeks, the schools reduced their daily energy usage and footprint by ca. 18 % and cost by ca. 14% (R 3,156  on average per month), when compared to the same period in the previous year and compared to schools that were not part of the intervention in a difference-in-differences comparison. Two of the schools also sent children to the SunStep programme, hosted by Stellenbosch University, where they were exposed to information on renewable energy and climate change, and had to solder their own mobile phone charger, which they took home.   These projects used similar methods and technologies as those proposed here. The proposed project plans to leverage the lessons learned through the two projects to achieve similar outcomes at poorer schools in the Stellenbosch area. For three schools, small solar power plants were also installed with giant posters on the wall to make children aware of renewables and environmental change. These projects set a clear president, demonstrating our commitment and ability to affect change at schools, and lay a solid foundation for achieving success in the proposed project. The project will chiefly aim to save money and environmental impact through the use of electrical and electronic engineering technologies, while educating staff and children. The project will primarily target 25 indigent schools in the Stellenbosch and Paarl area. The project will demonstrably achieve all of the following objectives at these schools Use of smart metering (and smart switches where appropriate) to save needy schools money and reduce their carbon footprint. Install solar power to reduce school costs and environmental footprintInstall inverter and batteries to carry the school through loadshedding. The project will draw from various role players to ensure successful completion, ranging from academia, industry, schools, universities, and governmental agencies. Stellenbosch University: Jason Samuels will be the school liaison and will coordinate the smart meter data capture (installation, acquisition, development where needed) and perform the processing and dissemination of the visualisations. He will also present to the schools on climate change, tariff structures, and energy usage. He will also be completing his PhD on the proposed project, or related areas. Professor SS Grobbelaar of the Department of Industrial Engineering as collaborator.Thinus Booysen will provide a coordinating and oversight role. He may also assist with the presentations to management and the staff. Scatec Solar Chair at E&E Engineering (Dr. Arnold Rix) was part of the initial pilot project, and co-supervises the MEng students who will work on this project. Schools The schools principals and governing body representatives will be engaged with the information, and will be responsible to disseminate the information to the teaching staff and personnel. ​ ​ 1542

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