On July 26th, students from six different schools, in the Northern and Southern Suburbs of Cape Town took part in the annual Siemens Junior Cyber Junkyard competition, hosted this year by Northlink College Belhar Campus at the Belhar Sports Centre.
The junior division, which started last year, challenged students this year to create a fully automated house that is linked with a Programmable Logic Control (PLC) provided by Siemens. As the project was about “going green and saving energy” students were encouraged to use recycled material either which they found at home or which were donated. They were all provided with a mentor to assist with any technical questions or issues which might have arisen.
Siemens elected Northlink College Belhar Campus to host the Western Cape leg of the junior competition, which is the same campus that had students taking part in the Senior Cyber Junkyard Project last year where they were tasked to build a warehouse stacking system from scratch.
Students were provided with PLC training from lecturers at the Belhar Campus, which would assist them in the building and programming of all electronics needed to make and maintain a fully automated energy saving house.
The six schools that entered were COSAT (Center of Science and Technology), Cristel House, Brackenfell High School, Kasselsvlei Comprehensive High School, College of Cape Town Gugulethu and Pinelands Campus and Kuilsriver Technical High School. The participating teams were chosen by certain criterion which was set by Siemens. Students were limited to spend roughly R2000; they were also encouraged to get sponsorships which would allow the students to use their business savvy to make their projects better and more energy efficient.
On the day of the competition, Siemens invited some other well known companies to check out the students work and also to advise students, doing their exit levels in electrical engineering at Northlink College and other universities, about the career opportunities available for them.
Students that were participating in the competition were given strict time restraints to have their projects set up and presentations done and loaded. Judges were then given the job to critique every presentation to ensure that every group stuck to the proposed time of 10 minutes per presentation and every house built by every group. They were given a certain judging criteria, which was followed down to the tee. After each team’s presentations the judges were given time to go from group to group to test out every group’s houses. While the guests and students grabbed lunch in the lower hall, the judges were given some quiet time to judge the participants.
After lunch, Mr Neil Maggott, the Acting CEO of Northlink College and various members of Siemens made short speeches briefly thanking students, organisers and others, one of the judges mentioned how tough making the decision of the winners was.
The competition was won by Brackenfell High School, Kuilsriver Technical High School who came second and Cristel House that came third.
“We are very happy to have won and it feel actually fantastic and nice to know that we have won the Western Cape leg of this national competition,” says Angelique le Roux (Grade 11 Learner of Brackefell Hight School)
Northink College would like to congratulate all the participants for the good work displayed and also special congratulations to the winners, Brackenfell High School and good luck as they go on to represent the Western Cape Region in Johannesburg, at the National Junior Cyber Junkyard Competition in September 2013.
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