Schools can’t afford to ignore technology – Geexpo 2015

Annette Willemse -- Thu, 03/19/2015 - 11:34

Schools can’t afford to ignore technology – Geexpo 2015

Unlike many of their educators, today’s youth represent a generation that was born into a world dominated by information and communication technology - computers, smartphones, iPads, Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter – to name but a few.

An education system that fails to take this into account, will be missing a unique opportunity in terms of learner-centred education, but also to equip our youth to take their place in the global community. This is according to Ms Suné van der Linde, lecturer in the School of Information Technology, on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal).

 

Suné is also a member of the 2015 Geexpo organising committee, and the event will take place on 17 October 2015. 

The annual Geexpo PAT Competition runs parallel with the set curriculum outcomes for learners in high school (grade 10-12), with Information Technology (IT) as a subject. According to Van der Linde 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 get to learn more about possible careers within the field of Information Technology.  The PAT Competition furthermore provides learners with an opportunity to showcase their projects and by doing so receive recognition for their hard work during the year. There are great prizes to be won every year, but more importantly is that the competition serves as great motivation for learners to deliver projects of high standard. “Through the competition and the Geexpo initiative we aim to get students to become excited about the prospects of a career in IT and mathematics,” says Van der Linde and explains that the annual Geexpo serve as a vital platform through which hundreds of learners from across central South Africa are exposed to the multitude of opportunities that are associated with mathematics and information science.

Schools are invited to register as many learners for Geexpo2015 as they see fit. Please note that the PAT Competition is for learners who are in grade 10-12.

Geexpo 2015 – a full programme

During the Geexpo learners - from as young as Grade 8, are invited to take part in several mathematics and information sciences related activities, such as: a PAT Competition, a Mathematics Olympiad, a Robotics Challenge and interactive presentations by the Serious Games Institute of South Africa (SGI-SA). The latter includes mobile technologies as well as the App Factory.

According to JT Terblanche, a lecturer within the School of Information Technology and one of the organisers of the event, the importance of mathematics and science cannot be stressed enough, since these subjects are compulsory if students wish to undertake further studies in a number of fields that are very important to the economy and the further development of our country. 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 JT and explains 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.

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 jt.terblanche@nwu.ac.za or to sune.vanderlinde@nwu.ac.za

* Geexpo is an innitative by the School of Information Technology within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology.