Countdown has begun for Geexpo 2015
The clock is ticking and in less than a week’s time the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology - on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University, will be hosting its annual Geexpo.
During recent years it has become strikingly obvious to all South Africans that the prevailing deficiencies in basic maths and science education have become a major constraint in ensuring that the country’s human capital is fully aligned to the country’s economic growth and development goals. In the National Development Plan (NDP), the National Planning Commission (NPC) sets out a vision for “schools that provide all learners with an excellent education, especially in literacy, mathematics and science”. In an effort to turn the tide on poor maths and science performance and to highlight the advantages of these subjects in terms of career planning, the School of Information Technology on the Vaal Triangle Campus will be hosting its annual Geexpo event on 17 October 2015.
During Geexpo learners - from as young as Grade 7, are invited to take part in several mathematics and information sciences related activities, such as: a PAT (Practical Assessment Task) Competition, a Mathematics Olympiad, a Robotics Challenge, a Statistical Performance Challenge and interactive presentations by the Serious Games Institute of South Africa (SGI-SA). The latter includes mobile technologies as well as an App Factory.
According to Me Daleen Gerber, Director of the School of Information Technology, Geexpo offers hundreds of learners from across central South Africa the opportunity to be exposed to the multitude of opportunities that are associated with mathematics and information science – not only as a potential field of study, but also as an exciting and innovative career choice. “The importance of mathematics and science cannot be stressed enough,” says Daleen and explains that since these subjects are compulsory in a number of fields that are very important to the economy and further development of South Africa. These sectors include engineering, natural sciences, information technology and medicine. “At the Vaal Triangle Campus we believe that we are the preferred choice when it comes to business and information technology,” says Daleen and adds that apart from showcasing the different applications of mathematics and science within a university context, learners also stand the chance to win study bursaries during the event.
The annual PAT Competition runs parallel with the curriculum outcomes for learners in high school – Grade 10-12, with IT as a subject at school. The aim of the competition is to encourage learners to enter their IT PAT projects and by doing so not only monitor the standard of their projects against those of their peers, but also entice talented learners to consider a career in information technology.
The Mathematics Olympiad will see learners participate in five categories, namely Grade 8-12, and participants will be tested on an array of mathematical applications.
During the course of the event the learners will have the opportunity to meet experts within the field of mobile technologies, app and gaming developers as well as the team of the Serious Games South Africa (SGI-SA). The latter represents a dynamic unit within the School of Information Technology that enjoys international acclaim for their work on serious games such as the Mandela27 Project in conjunction with the European Union.
Schools are invited to register as many learners for Geexpo as they see fit. Please note that the PAT Competition is for learners who are in Grade 10 – 12, whilst the Mathematics Olympiad is open for any learner from Grade 8 – 12. For more information please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com