Vision AfriKa co-hosted the first in a series of Tech Days at the end of October in order to give learners a hands-on opportunity to experience the latest technology.
The event, which was held at the Ikhaya Trust building in Stellenbosch’s Kayamandi township was jointly run by an organisation called the Greater Stellenbosch Development Trust and Eduvate that manages classroom innovation projects.
It was based on a similar format to the August Tech Day hosted for Vision AfriKa by Team4Tech, an NGO that brings together volunteers from technology companies with accredited not-for-profit organisations, and 3D design software supplier Autodesk.
The latest event comprised two sessions for 40 learners from the Makupula, Cloetesville high school and members from the Vision AfriKa’s (VA) grade 10 programme.
The first involved a demo of the Tinkercad 3D computer-aided design tool, which enables users to design 3D models before printing them out. An elephant with movable legs was one of the items printed using one of the two MakerBot 3D printers previously donated by Autodesk.
Following a Sugar Rush presentation presented by Carl Rhode where the audience was taught to design they own moulds.
The second session, meanwhile, was hosted by members of the Reach Trust, an NGO that provides access to free digital education programmes. They showed learners how to design and build their own apps for use on their mobile phones.
The feedback from the Tech Day was very positive though. Comments included:
- “It was fun and enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to design my own 3D shape.”
- “It was really nice to use my imagination to create different objects.”
- “Rather than sit at home all weekend, I prefer to keep busy and learn useful things that will make my future brighter.”
In 2016, VA intends to put on six Tech Days spread throughout the year.