Tech Leaders Camp introduces teens to robotics

Read time 2min 40sec
Tech Leaders Camp will teach scholars a variety of skills, including robotics, music coding and designing tech solutions.
Tech Leaders Camp will teach scholars a variety of skills, including robotics, music coding and designing tech solutions.

Cape Town-based high school students can now learn robotics, as part of a series of extramural courses offered by the University of Cape Town (UCT).

UCT's School of IT, in partnership with CodeSpace Academy, will run the Tech Leaders Camp, a one-week intensive holiday programme for learners in grades 10 to 12.

The initiative, which takes place during the school holidays in July, will introduce learners to the world of technology by exploring activities like coding robots, coding music, designing tech solutions and meeting tech professionals.

Founded in 2014, CodeSpace Academy trains talented young people with the skills they need to excel in the global IT industry. The organisation offers coding and IT courses at a high school and tertiary level.

"During the Tech Leaders Camp, learners will be taught how to code with the Arduino robotics kits. This curriculum teaches them how to program a computer, and also introduces them to the basics of electrical and mechanical engineering," says Emma Dicks, co-founder of CodeSpace and co-founder of Code for Cape Town.

"The courses offer not only robotics, but also a variety of other programming workshops that teach computer science principles in a variety of fun ways. Learners will write code that controls a robot, write code to make Raspberry Pi play music, and write code to make a game."

In addition, learners will be taught how to use Design Thinking to solve complex problems and will work in groups to design and pitch a solution to real life problems, adds Dicks.

The camp will feature a number of tech professionals who will introduce learners to career paths in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field.

Over the past five years, Code for Cape Town has been championing the introduction of coding at local schools. In partnership with CodeSpace Academy, the organisation is working with the Department of Basic Education on the design of the newly announced coding and robotics curriculum.

CodeSpace is offering Tech Leaders Camp scholarships to learners who apply through an admissions day, to be hosted at the UCT campus in May and June.

"CodeSpace actively seeks to create inclusive learning spaces for underrepresented groups in the tech industry and runs a non-profit bursary fund to remove financial barriers to high-quality education," Dicks notes.

CodeSpace Academy's educational offerings develop a coder's skills across their career; from extramural coding courses for high school learners, full-time tertiary study programmes, internship programmes and short courses for working professionals.

While CodeSpace primarily operates in Cape Town, the organisation has been instrumental in implementing coding projects in other parts of the country. It plans to expand its footprint in the near future across all major South African cities.

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