North West’s learners are robotics champions

Belinda Bantham -- Tue, 06/05/2018 - 09:20

North West’s learners are robotics champions

Robotics is a fast-growing field worldwide and learners from the North West province are not lagging behind. The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Science Centre on the campus in Mahikeng, whose Techno Youth Programme equips learners with computer, communication and problem-solving skills, has been watching with pride as these skills are put to practical use.

A prime example is the robotics competition hosted by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA) at its Observatory on 1 and 2 March 2018. The theme of the competition was “Wild things” and the challenge was to build a robot that could help with the daily chores on a farm or game reserve. The robot had to be able to clean, pick up food, feed and even put animals into enclosures.

Six teams took part: Langa High School in the Western Cape, Zacheus Malaza High School in Mpumalanga, Bisho High School in the Eastern Cape, Springs Girls High School in Gauteng, Itlotleng High School in the Northern Cape and Batswana Commercial Secondary School in the North West province.

The teams had to work according to strict instructions and specifications, and scored points for each chore completed, the best design and the level of teamwork.

When the results were announced, Batswana Commercial Secondary School took first place, followed by the teams from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

“The NWU Science Centre would like to congratulate the winning team’s coaches, Mr Jankie Motelene and Ms Zandile Nkopo, and the four learners - Ofentse Mamonong, Kopano Sepeng, Lencoe Kgaje and Tlotlo Khumalo,” says Lerato Molebatsi, manager of the Science Centre. ”They proved that their robotics skills are second to none. Well done and keep up the good work!”

If your school is interested to participate in Techno Youth Programme, please contact Lerato Molebatsi at lerato.molebatsi@nwu.ac.za or (018) 389 2606.

The Batswana Commercial Secondary School won the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement’s robotic competition. From the left are Ofentse Mamonong, Kopano Sepeng, Lencoe Kgaje, their teacher Mr Jankie Motelene, and Tlotlo Khumalo.