Geekulcha VacWork comes to Soweto, Tshwane in March

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The Geekulcha VacWork Gauteng edition in March will focus on building optical tech.
The Geekulcha VacWork Gauteng edition in March will focus on building optical tech.

The latest edition of Geekulcha Vacation Work will take place in Soweto and Tshwane from 18 to 23 March.

Geekulcha, whose stated mission is to empower young geeks through ICT skills development, in 2014 created a "free and open programme for six- to 20-year-olds, bringing them to a real or simulated working environment to learn how to code and build tech start-ups".

"The Geekulcha Vacation Work (#gkVacWork) has since extended to five provinces and over a thousand scholars have taken part so far," says COO Tiyani Nghonyama.

With every VacWork edition, a theme is set to help youngsters innovate in line with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), to help build better societies, he says. This March, the theme is 'building optical tech' and the youngsters will be challenged to build solutions inspired by history, art or space.

"Looking at Microsoft's HoloLens, the first self-contained, holographic computer that enables users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them, as well as digital lasers, augmented reality, virtual reality and even mixed reality, the question is: what can be built to change life as we know it?" says Nghonyama.

In addition, a 'Secure by Design' session will be held for the scholars. "On the final day, they must also show they have considered and implemented security into their tech products or services."

The VacWork programme is based on the Geekulcha Skills Redistribution model, with university students being able to volunteer as mentors/trainers for the younger ones during the holidays.

Nghonyama says: "Although the youngsters usually receive certificates of participation, now they will also be able to create their online portfolios as evidence of work done during the programme. A career day will also be hosted."

In an attempt to encourage reading and engagement with local digital transformation, a tech debate about "the future past the 4IR" will be will be hosted on the final day.

VacWork in Gauteng is endorsed by The Innovation Hub and the City of Tshwane, as part of the 'Fab Lab' youth programme that drives innovation and entrepreneurship. It is also supported by mLab South Africa and Ikusasa Technology Solutions.

The upcoming VacWork will take place in Soweto and Tshwane, from 18 to 23 March, from 9am to 4pm each day. It will be held at Ekasi Labs Soweto and Code Tribe SA Academy Tshwane. To register, click here.

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