Learners sharpen technology skills

An enthusiastic group of high school learners of Kimberley’s William Pescod High School and Floors High School are taking part in a rockets and robotics programme.

This project is aimed at teaching learners how to build and programme robots and rockets and to expose them to the world of technology and innovation.

It is coordinated by Gordon Africa and the rockets and Lego robot parts are funded by the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Seta (Merseta).

The learners come together twice a week after school and learn to build and programme Lego robots with the help of their facilitators.

They use EV3 Lego parts to build the robot from scratch.

The William Pescod High School has 20 learners from Gr. 8, Gr. 9 and Gr. 10 who take mathematics and science, of which anyone is welcome to join regardless of their level of ability in these subjects.

The sessions can take up to two hours or more, depending on the programming challenges. They use a workbook that includes tasks, competition and programming activities that help them practise.

Learners of the Floors High School team consists of five learners from Gr. 10 and Gr. 11 who are responsible for grooming Gr. 8 learners who have shown interest in the programme.

Two other schools in the Dawid Kruiper Municipality being Rietfontein Combined School and Klein Mier Primary School are also participants. The training of educators were held in Rietfontein whereby the rockets that were built were launched at Hakskeenpan.

During his visit to the schools Gordon Africa, the project coordinator gave the learners’ words of encouragement.

“We are here to give you the opportunity to be good scientists, and this is where it will all begin. I hope you enjoy it and that this will encourage you to enter a science related field one day,” said Afrika.

The schools have been working hard to prepare their teams to participate in the World Robotics Olympiad and the First Lego League Robotics Competition in Carnarvon.

Funding is reported to be making participation in the programme a challenge.
– Refilwe Sekwati