Funding for robotics equipment, training and competition fees remain a significant barrier for underprivileged schools across South Africa. The World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Western Cape therefore hosted a robotics workshop at our school on Saturday, 20 August, which saw children from under-resourced schools and communities be introduced to robotics for the very first time.
Children from our neighbouring community, Freedom Park and some of our Simunye (we are one) schools, including Mzamomtsha Primary school, Die Duine Primary school and Rondebosch Boys' Preparatory school attended the event and experienced an introduction to robotics. The Simunye project aims to nurture long-lasting relationships between South African youth from various ends of the wealth spectrum. Similarly, the WRO outreach programme aims to cross the digital divide that separates students.
The fun-filled day saw students building their own robots, being educated on how to code the robots and then being challenged through various obstacles. Students from Parklands College, Curro and Christel House SA acted as facilitators and judges.
Mr Cedric Esterhuizen, WRO Western Cape Vice Chair and Head of the Robotics department at our school said, "Through this outreach programme, we aim to expose students who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience robotics. Robotics offers an opportunity to follow a career path that students haven't considered before and allows them to make a contribution in the 21st century, to an ever-changing technological world."