EBIT Week is an opportunity for students currently in high school to experience firsthand what it's like to be an engineer at the University of Pretoria. In a period of just four days, learners are exposed to life at a residence, engineering orientated lectures, the maze that is Hatfield Campus, and even industry visits!
We are team Ebit Epic consisting of:
Chester Kirkwood (10646834) – Electrical Engineering
Lize Jackson (11264242) – Mechanical Engineering
Timothy Foster (11044072) - Computer Engineering
Leadership at the camp was split into two main categories, Special Forces and Team Awesome. Lize was part of Special Forces; their duties ranged from handling most of the administration, to preparing and transporting the food and in-between making sure that all the required equipment was at the right place at the right time. As you can imagine they were exhausted by the end of the four days!
Team Awesome was responsible for managing the students; some may call this job utter madness, we chose to call it a learning curve. As our fearless leader Horisane Marivate always said, “When something goes wrong, you throw your hands in the air, and shout "How fascinating!”. I truly learnt to appreciate this comment over the course of EBIT Week. Chester and myself (Tim) were part of this division, Chester lead group 5 and I lead group 10 together with my partner Suzaan.
Here's a photo of the three of us!
To get in touch with the staff of EBIT Week, please use the available contact methods below. Additionally, if you are interested in attending an EBIT Week, complete and submit the form located here
Telephone: 012 420 2482
Fax: 012 420 2208
Address: Emly Mathe
Engineering Building - 1, Room 7-13
University of Pretoria
Group leaders and Mentors for EBIT Week had a five day schedule which started on the 31st May. This ‘Day Zero’ was used for training, reading through all the material in the guide, learning how the camp would be run and being introduced to the other leaders and mentors. To aid the process of getting to know each other better, Horrie organised for us to play some ridiculous ice breakers. (See photos below). A highlight for me was taking the personality test, through which we learnt more about our character traits and how we could maximise our potential as leaders.
The next four days (From 1-4 April) were filled with lots of excitement, some interesting experiences, good food and a severe lack of sleep. Enthusiasm built as we awaited the arrival of the students for registration on Day One. The lifts in Madelief Residence were broken; consequently we had to carry the bedding for over two-hundred students up sixteen floors. Needless to say we were quite tired before the day had even begun! Thankfully, registration went smoothly and everyone arrived at a reasonable time so we were able to start promptly. No time was wasted in getting the students to their first introductory lecture by the Dean of Engineering. Afterwards we all moved back to the residences and allowed the learners to settle in after playing “Team Resistance and Capacitance” with them.
Day Two started with an early morning meeting at 5:30AM, which to my horror, continued and got progressively worse as the week went on, ending with a 5:00AM meeting on Day Four. I still don’t know what Horisane was thinking when he planned these little get-togethers. After we inhaled our breakfast we quickly lined the students up and sent them off to Hatfield Campus. There they attended their first proper lectures introducing the various engineering disciplines. For lunch we had Steers and some refreshments. After more lectures we moved back to the residences for Pizza night and movies before getting some rest.
We kicked off Day Three with a decent breakfast which we actually had time to chew! The students were taken to the Amphitheatre where roll call was taken. They were then sent to Engineering III – 1 for more lectures. Afterwards we had lunch at Adlers, which I didn’t even know existed until I attended EBIT Week! The highlight for me was the departmental visits which we attended after lunch. Tamar (who couldn’t resist her department) and I escorted a group of students through the Chemical Engineering Labs. This was quite an experience for me since Computer Engineers do not take any chemistry related modules. Consequently I almost got lost in the labyrinth that the Labs constitute. Nonetheless the students and I were able to see the flow-control experiments, the brewery and some explosive reactions. After the industry visits we returned to the residences where we enjoyed braaing our meat and had a dance party till midnight.
The last day of EBIT Week, Day Four, was possibly the most interesting. By this stage most of us were completely exhausted; we could literally fall asleep standing upright. For the leaders, the day started at about 2:00AM with a party to celebrate a successful EBIT week (and Suzaan's birthday). After eating cake some of the leaders were put on patrol to ensure the students were asleep. An attempt to get meaningful sleep was made, but failed hopelessly as we had to be up at 4:30AM. The students were taken to different industries depending on their choice of engineering discipline. Overall the visits were successful and we returned around 3:00PM for closure and signout.
The mission of this project is to inform high school pupils of what the various courses within the EBIT (Engineering, Built Environment and IT) Faculty is about, and to give them an idea of the various possible careers that follow. EBIT Week also exposes the pupils to industry visits so that they are provided an opportunity to experience their possible future first-hand. Not only does EBIT Week benefit high school pupils, but it also provides the leaders a chance to develop their leadership skills within a controlled environment.
Planning of the EBIT Week was the sole responsibility of our mentors who, in turn, informed us through daily meetings and an itinerary list of what we should be doing and when. We were also subjected to a training session on "day zero" as Tim mentioned earlier, where Hori briefed us on what was in-store for the next couple of days.
Special Forces worked behind the scenes during EBIT Week and I (Lize), was part of this team. We made sure everything was in its place in order for the project to be successful. The most important job description of Special Forces was ensuring that everybody had food, were happy with their sleeping quarters and that everything else was running smoothly. All the required admin work was also our responsobility-needles to say, that translated to having VERY little sleep as we manually recorded survey results every night.
Preparing for EBIT Week required packing a bag with our bare necessities (including snacks, of course!), attending the training session on day zero, and consciously accepting the fact that sleep would be impossible. What we weren't prepared for though, was how much fun we would have during this week.
We ended the week on the last night before sign-out, with a bang... literally! Blasting the speakers full volume and dimming the lights in Magrietjie's Hall, we set up the perfect dance floor. After a long week full of excitement and information overload, the dance gave everyone a chance to blow off some steam. The next afternoon, a lot of sad faces met us as they were leaving after sign-out. A couple of the leaders even decided they didn't want the fun of EBIT Week to end just yet and so, we continued our own version of EBIT Week at The Springbok Bar across from the hostels.
Taking our last group photo together as leaders and mentors of EBIT Week I 2012, Hori warmed all our hearts by openly admitting that this was one of the best and most successful EBIT Weeks he has ever experienced. This goes without saying, we all felt a bit emotional after that statement.