National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF)

Tiisetso Molata is studying Electrical Engineering

Tiisetso Molata from Gauteng is studying towards a BSc Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Pretoria. He attended PJ Simelane Secondary School in Dobsonville, Soweto.

Set clear and lofty goals, and ensure that everything you do each day is a step towards them.

Tell us about your school

I am from PJ Simelane Secondary, situated in Dobsonville, Soweto. It was about a 25 minute ride from home by taxi.

Why do you think some people have a problem with math and science? What would you do to solve the problem?


I think some people have a problem with math and science because of the teaching quality (or rather, lack of) that they receive. There is a severe shortage and need for skilled math and science teachers. It may also be because they don’t have access to resources (such as good textbooks), or because they have been led to believe that math and science are hard. That then makes them more inclined or susceptible to having a problem with these subjects. In order to solve the problem, I would start a project that provides extra tutoring for students in math and science, and if possible introduce them to coding and robotics while they are still in high school. The project will also improve the skills set by training teachers so that they are more competent. I would also develop a website that will enable students to access resources and be in virtual class rooms where they can access teaching through videos.

Why did you enjoy science and maths?

Attending Kutlwanong Centre for Math, Science and Technology helped me get a thorough understanding of the concepts that we were studying in math and physical science. So I enjoyed it more because I had an understanding of the things that we were learning. Also, a yearning to derive practical applications off the things that I was learning made me enjoy it more.

Why did you choose the course you are studying?


I chose to study Electrical Engineering because I had an interest in electrical concepts such as electromagnetism, electrodynamics and electrochemistry. I am pursuing this degree in order to learn more about these and see their practical applications. Most importantly, though, I chose it because I love programming and I want to be a control systems engineer.

Any tips for learners in grades 11 and 12?


My advice to grade 11 learners would be to work very hard and get a clear understanding of their coursework, because it forms a huge basis of the grade 12 work. They must also ensure that they have good grades in their final report as they will use it to apply for university to get accepted into a study programme of their choice. For grade 12 learners, my advice would be to start preparing for final exams early. Ensure that you have covered and clearly understand the work, the latest by your prelims. Set clear and lofty goals, and ensure that everything you do each day is a step towards them. Just make the most out of the short year, work closely with your teachers and fellow students. Communicate the things that you are learning so that you have a clearer understanding. Stay motivated.

What advice do you have for matriculants who have to apply for places in higher education institutions?


Matriculants who are applying to study in higher education institutions should have done research as to what they want to study. It is advisable to go for something that has a good balance between your passion and the needs. They are also advised to apply in time.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

Ten years from now, I see myself as a control systems engineer, running an organisation that promotes science, engineering and technology, or playing strong support roles in those that already exist.

Understanding excellence – what makes an achiever?

Many facets go into being a top achiever. One thing for sure, you can’t do it on your own. So it’s realising that you need help at times and seeking that help accordingly. It takes resilience and not giving up on your goals if you come short. It is about believing in your ability and striving to harness your potential and reaching your goals. Being true to yourself and your beliefs and value system.

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