Our school recently hosted the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) Western Cape regional competition, where a record 89 teams consisting of 227 students participated in the much-anticipated event. Technology forms the bedrock of our school’s curriculum, with programmes like coding and robotics growing from strength to strength each year.
Cedric Esterhuizen, WRO Western Cape Vice Chair and Head of the Robotics Department at our school, says: “Christel House SA is proud to have two teams win at the Western Cape regional competition and qualify for the national Robotics Olympiad taking place in Gauteng in September 2022. Teams winning their category stand a chance to be invited to represent South Africa at the WRO international event taking place in Dortmund, Germany in November 2022.”
First held in 2004, the World Robot Olympiad takes place across 90 countries and brings together young people from all over the world to develop their creativity and problem-solving skills through challenging educational robotics competitions. The official WRO® theme for 2022 is ‘My Robot My Friend’ and focuses on how the combination of robotics and artificial intelligence can improve robot-human interaction by making it safer and more user-friendly. The competition tasks teams to program their robot to do certain tasks while navigating through pre-determined courses, and the team which completes the course the quickest and most accurately scores the highest. Teams participate across various skill levels. This year, Robo Sports doubles tennis was added as a category for the first time.
Robotics, coding and other ICT programmes form a key part of our schools holistic intervention to equip our students for the world of work and ensure that they find gainful employment. In line with global technology trends, we acknowledge that coding will become a basic literacy requirement in the digital age and that understanding the fundamentals of technology will be essential to securing a job in the future.
Funding for robotics equipment, training and competition fees remain a significant barrier for many underprivileged schools across South Africa. With the support of Dell Technologies in South Africa, Christel House SA is committed to widening the impact of our programmes to help more young people bridge the digital divide.
Doug Woolley, General Manager at Dell Technologies, South Africa, says: “We are proud to have supported Christel House for more than a decade. Dell is a leading innovator in fields such as artificial intelligence, and we believe that Christel House’s commitment to equipping South Africa’s youth with the most sought-after skills in the world today plays an essential contributing role in the future of our country.”
In conclusion, Esterhuizen says: "Robotics offers an opportunity to follow a career path that students haven't considered before and allows them to make a contribution to an ever-changing technological world. Thank you to Dell for investing in the future of our students and helping to transform many more lives through technology."