Category: Learning

We Code, We Rise, We shine We are DigiGirlz

~ by Nomusa Keninda

Mpumalanga ICT Club hosted one of the powerful event in town called DigiGirlz and Scratch Day on the 12 May 2018, at Nkangala Tvet College, Witbank Campus. Grade 9 girls from Zacheus Malaza, TP Sililo, Ilanga, Sibukosethu, Nkonjane, Tshwenyane Schools Witbank Campus IT faculty including the Roman Catholic Church youth attended the event.

DigiGirlz aimed at motivating young girls into IT careers and hands on experience into Computer Science popular known as Coding.The girls were fortune to interact with Microsoft employees, getting to know where they come from, what studies they went through and what are the requirement for the courses, their day to day work at Microsoft South Africa.

“Township schools and poor background must not define your future destiny but your academic achievements especially in Mathematics and Sciences  can make you rise above all” said Ms Khutso Malungane

during the motivational session. She actually came from a remote, dusty village in Limpopo and works for Microsoft South Africa. The girls also interacted with Ms Londiwe Mdluli, age 23 from  Microsoft South Africa also from Limpopo province and Maudi Ramaboea.

The girls showered our guests with poetry, dance and songs. SchoolnetSA was represented by Megan Rademeyer who actually made this event a success. “ Thank you, you are wonderful, shine followed by thunder of applause “ – thats how the guests and presenters were applauded.

“We actually wanted to see all schools in the Nkangala District and beyond participating in DigiGirlz and Scratch events but we have limited resources” said Ms Nomusa Keninda

who is the founder of Mpumalanga ICT Club and an ELearning Specialist, also a Microsoft Innovation Educator Expert (MIEExpert)

“Girls who are exposed to IT careers and role models are likely to take up STEM subjects” alluded Megan.

This event was indeed a powerful idea  and we are looking forward to hosting more. The girls were afforded an opportunity to learn Coding on the Hour of Code platform and Scratch. It was a busy day for Nomusa Keninda and her team of volunteers helping girls to Code while others from Witbank Campus hospitality studies were preparing food for the girls.

Thank very much to Vuyokazi, chef leader at Witbank TVET campus.

North-West champions for robotics

~ by Lerato Molebatsi and Zandile Nkopo

North-West University Mafikeng Science Centre engage local schools in the Techno-youth programme throughout the year. This programme equips learners with computer, communication and problem solving skills.

SAASTA (South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement) hosted a robotics competition at the SAASTA Observatory, from the 1-2 March 2018.  The theme for the competition was “Wild things”. The challenge was to build a robot that could help with the daily chores of a farm or a game reserve.

The robot had to clean, pick food up, feed the animals and even put the animals the cages.

Six best teams from these schools Langa high school (WC), Zacheus Malaza high school (MP), Bisho high school (EC), Springs Girls high school (GP), Itlotleng high school (NC) and Batswana commercial secondary school (NW) participated in the robotics competition. Teams were given instructions for the competition before they could start building their robots.  Batswana learners came up with a design that was fully functional and was able to carry out most of the chores around the game reserve.  Once the programming was done, there was no stopping them.

The challenge was judged based on the number of points scored for each chore completed, the best design and based on team work.

Results were announced and the top three winners were Batswana commercial secondary school obtaining position 1, followed by participants from Gauteng and Eastern Cape. NWU Mafikeng Science Centre would like to congratulate Mr Motelene, Ms Nkopo and the four learners from Batswana commercial secondary school.

Well done to the team and coaches, keep up the good work!

From left to right: Learners in red t-shirts are from Batswana commercial secondary school (Ofentse Mamonong, Kopano Sepeng, Lencoe Kgaje ,Tlotlo Khumalo). The educator is Mr Jankie Motelene.

 

If your school is interested in participating in the Techno-youth programme, please feel free to contact us on this email address lerato.molebatsi@nwu.ac.za or this telephone number 018-3892606.

 

MPUMALANGA ICT CLUB CONNECTS THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

Compiled by Nomusa Keninda- eLearning Specialist and Mpumalanga ICT Club Founder

They are saying “Flowa Powa, Merci Les Amis” when they come across our Coding pictures in the Africa Code Week sites. They retweet and like our Twitter and Facebook posts. It was a fantastic week of coding called Africa Code Week on the 18-25 October 2017 in Africa.

Africa Code Week is an initiative that gives opportunity to millions of kids, youth and even adults in Africa to learn Coding. Mpumalanga ICT Club volunteered to partner with Cape Town Science Centre to train teachers and learners to Code using Scratch  language. Like we say “Coding is a new language, Every child deserves to be fluent”  #AfricaCodeWeek #Scratch

We hosted number of workshops in EMalahleni and Siyabuswa before the official start of the Africa Code Week and more than 200 teachers were trained.” Ms. Nomusa Keninda related the story.

We were 100% ready to put the Club on the map of Africa, connecting every dot of  coding organization along  and learning the best in Africa” said Ms. Ntombizodwa Gininda enthusiastically. She is a Scratch and PowerPoint Facilitator in the Club. We adopted few learners in schools as Coding Coordinators to teach other kids to Code and to take care of their Computer Labs.

Volunteering my skills to shape the future of this country is the best thing that happened to me. ‘We love what we are doing in Mpumalanga ICT Club” commented Ms. Florence Sibiya- Volunteer in the Club.

Comments about the Africa Code Week in and around the country:

Flowa Powa for Mpumalanga ICT Club, thanks for hosting Africa Code Week in our school, forward with technology at our school, keep on rolling, keep on don’t tire , what a beautiful day we had, tholukuthi siyaScratcher, we are Scratchers, thanks Nomusa Keninda for unleashing our children potential, Uyibatla kay’ koComputeng.

Emba Grade 12 – Motivational Session.

Grade 12 learners from various schools in eMbalenhle attended the motivation session

~ by Angela Stratford

Osizweni together with the Department of Education hosted a motivation session for Grade 12 learners for Secondary Schools in eMbalenhle on Monday 28 August 2017 at the eMbalenhle Sasol Recreation Club. The purpose of this intervention was to motivate Grade 12 learners to invest time into their studies so that an improvement can be seen in their year-end results.

Mrs Dumisile Vilakazi, Deputy Chief Education Specialist from the Gert Sibande Region Department of Education shared a presentation which clearly outlined the overall results per school for the past 3 quarters in each subject. This exercise gave Grade 12 learners the opportunity to reflect back on their past performance and motivate them to study even harder as they are approach their final exams.

The event saw a various speakers who have travelled different journeys in life coming together to deliver speeches and motivate the Grade 12 learners. One of the speakers, Sharon Zamisa who is also an Osizweni staff member, spoke about the importance of delayed gratification, where she encouraged learners to work hard today so they may reap the rewards in the future.

Mr Prince Ndela, a former Osizweni Project A learner and a fourth year student at the University of Witwatersrand delivering his motivational speech.

Another speaker, Prince Ndela, a former Osizweni Project A learner and a fourth year student at the University of Witwatersrand, spoke about the sacrifices one needs to make to achieve your dreams. “When you decide to change your life and focus fully on your studies you must be prepared to loose friends along the way, let that not bother you as you would be taking a step in the right direction “said Mr. Ndlela.

A total of 6 learners each from the different secondary schools shared their schools strategy on how they are planning on achieving better results at the end of the year. These strategies included interventions such as afternoon classes, morning sessions as well as teachers especially in practical subjects such as Mathematics and Physical Science becoming more of assistants rather than teachers, meaning they will be giving out equations and monitoring if each student is doing it correctly as opposed to standing in front of the class and solving equations for their learners.

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep on moving forward” said one of the learners from Thomas Nhlabathi Secondary School as he quoted Martin Luther King Jr.

Grade 12 learners from various schools in eMbalenhle attended the motivation session

“Overall it was a successful session, the response from the Grade 12 learners was impeccable. We hope that there will be a positive change in their year-end results.” said Fionah Manthata, Osizweni Marketing Assistant.