13 March, 2024

Lift As We Rise | Notes on Next Generation Success

Kliptown Youth Centre (KYP) encourages children to be active community members, to have dreams and to promote hope for a brighter future. KYP was started by co-founders who are good friends, connected by a big vision to shift the spirit within their Kliptown community from "survive" to "thrive”. Their shared passion is changing lives.

In 2021, KYP became an early adopter of the F1 in Schools programme. This leap of faith, supported by F1 in Schools South Africa, introduced the world of racing to a place where 75% of community members are unemployed and where "Hope" is in short supply.  Co-Founder, Thulani Madondo shares insights from KYP’s F1 in Schools journey.

KYP’s part in the F1 in Schools SA challenge.

In the heart of Soweto, where opportunities often feel out of reach, this programme is breaking barriers and igniting the imaginations of our young learners. The F1 in Schools Primary STEM programme has proven to be ground-breaking, enabling our learners to explore race car design and build on a miniature scale, encouraging practical application of maths and science learning.

Highlights from their journey so far.

For many people in our community, the idea of Formula 1 is as distant as the stars. This initiative is a gateway for learners to discover a whole new world of possibilities. Our learners have taken a deep dive into the complex process of designing their own miniature race cars, using customised building block materials, including paper-based cut-out chassis, small wheels and axles. Through hands-on activities such as designing cars, experimenting with color mixing for paint and conducting reaction tests to assess speed, they have gained invaluable technical skills while experiencing the sheer joy of creation and discovery.

We run the Primary STEM programme which is safe and low in complexity for learners and teachers. Resourcefulness and commitment keeps the programme going and is generating high motivation. We have one roll out track and use the hand held pump for propulsion.

The ROI being generated for the school and sponsors.

We are grateful that this programme provides the kind of stimulation that inspires our learners to dream big. We are seeing the positive impact of this programme on participants' motivation for schoolwork.

Our learners have started to experience the world of professional racing, and can access the exhilarating world of motorsports at Zwartkops Raceway and Kyalami, thanks to F1 in Schools South Africa, supportive partners and industry experts. Meeting with engineers, mechanics, drivers and racing team owners has opened participants' eyes to the diverse career opportunities within the racing industry, sparking a new passion for exploration and learning.

Some challenges and how they are being tackled.

Despite our efforts to promote equal participation, there is still a stereotype that racing cars is a “man's sport”. We have to double our efforts to encourage young girls to participate and to expose them to female role models in the field. Our female IT Educational Coordinator, Jane Moepi, has a background in engineering.

The other challenge is combining the program into our curriculum without disturbing the academic flow requires careful planning and coordination.

The “Impossible” goal for F1 in Schools ZA.

The ultimate vision is for Team F1 KYP to participate in the F1 in Schools World Finals. To get there, we need to secure the necessary funding and resources to turn our goal into reality. We are working with Future Ones NPC and partners to make this happen!

Advice to young South Africans who want to achieve extraordinary success.

As someone who continues to unlock his vision for a thriving future, Thulani believes that, "To accomplish great things, it takes hard work, vision, and determination. Always remember that what gets measured, gets done. Nothing in life comes easy, so do the work and trust the process."

Play Your Part

Join the F1 in Schools South Africa community. participant, Sponsor, Partner or Volunteer. Visit the Future Ones NPC website and Let's Talk.

See the F1 in Schools programme in action at KYP:

Article written by FTP Media - Purpose driven Passion