Boys in general tend to be more confident in their analytical skills and girls, while usually equally able to apply analytical thinking with a touch of creativity, often lack the confidence to venture into the field of engineering. Engineering as a sector desperately needs the creativity and diversity in approaches that women bring to the table in order to solve future problems. It is also a field in which women can really excel. Therefore, the Faculty of Engineering at the NWU, with sponsorship from merSETA would like to invite you to take part in our Innovation Competition for High School Girls between the ages of 15 and 18. 

We named the competition Modiragatsi, because it is the Setswana name for performer. Women are those performers who will change South Africa and find solutions for problems that we have not even identified yet. Take ownership of your community, identify where you can make a difference, and let the NWU Faculty of Engineering help you develop that idea into something that you can make a difference with. 

The aim of this competition is to encourage South African girls to identify problems in their own community that may be addressed by technology. This year we will host the third instalment of the Modiragatsi Innovation competition for girls - an opportunity for Mathematics and Science Teachers and teams of girls who they will mentor to not only gain new skills in Design Thinking, Problem Solving and Advanced Manufacturing, but also the opportunity to win the grand prize - an all-expenses paid technology trip to the USA in 2022.


How to Enter

1. Teams of two (2) girls may enter with a Mathematics or Science teacher from their school.
2. Identify a problem in your community to which you have an innovative solution in one of the following categories:
Healthcare (including Mental Health)
Nature conservation and Tourism
Food security, Energy and Water
Township Economy
Gender based violence
3. Write up the background to the problem, the problem statement and your solution to the problem in approximately 250 words.
4. Create a short (2minute) video or maximum 15 slides to explain the background to the problem, the problem statement and your solution.


Competition Dates

Applications will open on 8 March 2021, and close at midnight on 3 May 2021. 
The mentoring programme for semi-finalist teams will take place in an online format between 12 and 23 July 2021 with the final presentations being due at midnight on 25 July 2021.
The winners will be announced at our annual Femmegineering Event in August 2021.
As soon as international travel is allowed the dates of the trip will be finalised – but it will taje place during a public school holiday period in 2022.


Competition Rules

  • Entries can be individual or in teams of 2.
  • Entrants must identify as female.
  • Entrants must be South African citizens.
  • At least one team member is required to have both Mathematics & Physical Science as school subjects.
  • Signed consent should be given from the parents/legal guardians to participate in the competition and all the related activities.


Additional Information Downloads

Please ensure you have read and completed the following documents:

  1. Project Outline
  2. Info Sheet
  3. Indemnity Form

Submit project

Please submit your finished project here.