As part of AIMS South Africa’s public engagement activities and its contribution to Mandela Month, a Job Shadow Week for high school learners and university students was hosted at the centre from 2 to 6 July 2018. Learners and undergraduate students from local high school and universities were matched with scientists (mentors) based at AIMS for a five day workplace visit during the school holidays. A job shadowing experience gives the students the opportunity to see how the skills they are learning may be applied to a career of choice.

This year AIMS hosted two mentees: Thomas Britton, a talented Grade 11 learner at Heathfield High School who is passionate about mathematics and science and considering both as his future career path as well as Mr Ashley Sikweza from Khayelitsha, currently doing his 2nd year BSc degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Western Cape who wants to specialise in the field of Artificial Intelligence after completing his degree.

The programme was scheduled around the mentees shadowing different mentors from various fields of research. The host mentors were Dr Yabebal Fantaye (ARETÉ Junior Research Chair in Applied Statistical Methods Cosmology and Big Data), Dr Cynthia Ramiharimanana (Postdoctoral Fellow in Pure Mathematics), Mr Rock Stephane Koffi (PhD student in Financial Mathematics) and Dr Rejoyce Gavhi-Molefe (Resident researcher and a coordinator of the job shadow program).

“The best part of my experience was being in the company of intelligent people.  I enjoyed the information given from my mentor on researching and general information about careers and how I should plan them,” said Mr Britton.

The best part of my experience was communicating with people who have experience in my field.  Using Raspberry Pi and things that can be done using Raspberry Pi,” said Mr Sikweza.