In an endeavor to unlock innovative science opportunities, Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) embarks on introducing students at primary, junior and senior secondary school to Robotics and Makeathon.
BIUST engaged in robotics making training session for students during the National Science Week in Goodhope last week so as to stimulate interest on emerging science technologies.
According to Ofentse Rice, drilling students in robotics also encompasses teaching students programming language, a development which she said is very critical when doing robotics.
Rice – an Engineer at Spectrum Analytics – said with technology careers on the rise it is very crucial to position the students at grassroots level for new world of jobs. She said Botswana should also opt for developing a specific coding and robotics curricula.
Rice said students are showing high level of interest, understanding as well as relevance to the subject matter because at their age they are close to robotics in movies.
“Coding and robotics coding help develop students’ skills and competencies to prepare them for the fourth industrial revolution employment opportunities. Learners will also become a new generation of creative innovative thinkers that can use coding to express their ideas and adopt a culture of being self-directed and life-long learners,” she said.
Rice indicated that robotics generates strong foundation for stimulating students’ interest on pursuing Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (STEM) in the future.
Engineering and Technology lecturer, Dr Boyce Sigweni, introduced students on Makeathon, a programming and electronics competition facilitated under Faculty of Engineering and Technology.
Students were exposed to Electronic Basics, programming with projects including making a digital microscope, traffic light, cars and Arduino – a programmed computer board.
Kabelo Morokotso, a manufacturer of robot named ‘Kajumo’ said STEM boosts of many untapped opportunities in Botswana, noting that his passion was driven by science fiction robot movies.
He encouraged students to take science seriously, indicating that in this modern time they have good advantage because of opportunities such as national science week availed to them.
Morokotso said the platforms give students’ time to learn and appreciate the new emerging trends meant to offer solutions for everyday challenges as well as being a source of a living.
“It was a difficult journey for me to bring this robot into what it is today. I endured a lot of challenges such as lack of finances but with passion I did it. Moreover, I like sharing my experiences with students who want to pursue science careers,” said Kajumo robot manufacturer.