BMW EXCELLENCE PROJECT PROGRAMME.

BMW Excellence Project for the Advancement of Maths, Science and Technology Education (MST) Programme.

Skills in the fields of mathematics and science are absolutely vital towards encouraging sustainable growth within South Africa.

 

To address this, BMW’s Excellence Project for Mathematics, Science and Technology encourages young learners to pursue careers in the fields of science and technology, while reducing the knowledge gap that exists within these critical focus areas.

 

As one of the company’s longest standing sustainable development projects, BMW gives students the support they need to pursue their dreams by deploying mobile laboratories, known as BMW Centres of Excellence, to participating schools.

 

Robust educator empowerment assists teachers in the understanding and delivery of their subject matter. The culture is impacted positively when learners complete their high school education with exemption into tertiary institutions to pursue Maths and Science as undergraduates in electrical, mechanical, civil engineering, sound engineering, geology and actuarial based disciplines. The programme has already produced graduates in these fields.

 

In addition, BMW South Africa currently makes bursaries available to learners pursuing studies in the fields of engineering, ICT and commerce at various tertiary institutions. These students then become eligible for a place in BMW South Africa’s 24-month Graduate Trainee Programme and many of these candidates are taken into full-time employment.

 

Over the years, the initiative has grown to support 14 underprivileged high schools in Midrand, Pretoria, Soweto, KZN as well as in the Western Cape. A further 23 primary schools act as feeder points for this worthwhile initiative. Since its establishment, around 253,172 learners from Grades 4-12 and 3,077 teachers have taken advantage of the program.



The BMW MST Project continued its positive impact at the end of year 2014. The performance of the BMW MST Class of 2014 has yielded 55 distinctions, 19 distinctions in Mathematics and 36 distinctions in Physical Science.

 

When compared to similar Quintile 123 Schools’ National Average, BMW MST schools outperformed National results by 19.16% overall pass rate; 25.01% higher for Physical Science and 29.07% higher for Mathematics proving that investment in sustainable education can deliver tangible results.

 

PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND SCI-BONO.

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is a private public partnership created to support science education in Gauteng. BMW South Africa have partnered with Sci-Bono to build a collection of interactive science and technology exhibits to foster innovation through this medium in South Africa. This exciting facility offers an innovative platform for educating school children, teachers and the wider public about the wonders of modern vehicle design and technology, and about the science and mathematics that goes into the creation of a BMW vehicle.

 

In our commitment to enhancing young people’s access to science, maths, engineering and technology BMW South Africa and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) collaborated in 2013 to bring these educational themes to life.

 

BMW South Africa donated five BMW 3 Series Educational Display Cars to Science Centres in five provinces that are supported by and aligned to the DST, including: The Cape Town Science Centre, Unizul Science Centre in Kwa-Zulu Natal, North West University, Vuwani Science Centre in Limpopo and the Osizweni Education and Development Centre in Mpumalanga.

 

This collaboration with the DST led to our involvement in The National Science Week (NSW) in 2015. The theme was light and light-based technologies. In line with this understanding we presented our LED and Laser Light Systems against the background of the new BMW 750i. The LED headlights in this car shine 3 times further than conventional headlights. We demonstrated this lighting technology together with other electronic technologies in the car in line with the theme of the NSW.

 

The NSW was launched at the University of the North West, Mafikeng Campus and was led by the Minister of Science and Technology, supported by the Premier of the North West Province and local government leaders.


This initiative is aimed at raising the public’s awareness and especially that of school children, of the importance of science, technology and innovation in day to day life. Through this and many other initiatives the DST hopes to build a South African society that is knowledgeable about science and critically engaged in these matters.

 

There is a strong synergy between the BMW’s Maths, Science and Technology Programme and the DST’s Youth into Science Programme which seeks to enhance young people’s access to science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

 

The aim of these programmes is that learners develop the skills and understanding of automotive design, mechanics and electronics, while also strengthening their mastery of scientific and mathematical principles underlying the building of modern motorcars.

 

It is hoped that the programme will also encourage young people to pursue careers in the field of science and technology, thereby reducing the skills gap that exists in the country.

BMW ECO PRO TEAM.

As part of its ongoing commitment to Mathematics, Science and Technology Education (MST), BMW South Africa supported a team of students from the University of Johannesburg to participate in the 2015 Shell Eco-marathon Challenge. The BMW-supported team (BMW Eco Pro Team) won the challenge and will participate in the 2016 Shell Eco-marathon International Race in London.

 

Hosted by the School of Electrical Engineering from the University of Johannesburg, the competition brought together over 100 young engineers from South Africa and Nigeria. The competition challenges student teams around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient cars. Over the past weekend, the 2015 Shell Eco-marathon South Africa came to Johannesburg with the ultimate-energy-efficiency challenge.

 

We believe that a consistent focus on sustainable innovations and technologies is the key to future success. This is why we have decided to support these creative students. The project resonates very well with our BMW i brand, which is all about visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design as well as a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability.

The winning team designed the BMW Blue Hornet, a prototype vehicle powered by an electric battery. With the aerodynamic body comprising a drag coefficient of 0.072 and a body mass of 8kg, an aerodynamic power of 9.44W was achieved by the BMW Blue Hornet.

 

The BMW Eco Pro Team considered all factors to achieve the furthest possible distance travelled on an equivalent of one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy. With an astonishing result of 343.8 km/kWh, the BMW Eco Pro Team won in the battery electric prototype category. The BMW Blue Hornet holds the capacity to travel a distance of 343.8 km on just R1 of electricity. The car is now the most efficient electric vehicle on the African continent and one of the top 10 most efficient electric vehicles globally.

 

The winning team consists of students in the fields of Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Accounting and Optometry. In May 2016, the team will travel to London to participate in the International Race against 200 teams.

The driver of the Blue Hornet, Muhammed Moolla, is a BMW bursar and will join the BMW Graduate Programme in 2016 at Plant Rosslyn in Pretoria. He is currently a final year Mechanical Engineering Science student at UJ.

BMW C.A.T. (COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY) SCHOOLS PROGRAMME.

The BMW Group South Africa in partnership with HP, Datacentrix and the Tshwane University of Technology launched this programme in 2012, in Pretoria, Gauteng.


In collaboration with the Department of Basic Education, eight schools in and around Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa were identified for the programme and kitted out with fully equipped computer centres.


The programme aims to ensure that capacity is built within the teaching component of each school, as well as to encourage and prepare learners to take up ICT related studies in their tertiary education.


Another important component of this project is the continuing research conducted on the eight schools by the Education Studies Department. The research serves to deliver results highlighting the impact and value of the project in the schools in terms of its contribution to increased awareness of ICT related courses at tertiary institutions and possible careers that can be pursued by learners after completion of their tertiary studies.