Learners innovate

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It was all fun and excitement for the grades 3 to 7 learners at Heideveld Primary School on Tuesday morning (19 June), as they took part in the AI Family Challenge – a three-day initiative focusing on the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The public school in Waaihoek Road is an official beneficiary of the programme, and is one of three lucky schools in South Africa to embark on the technology project.

The AI programme forms part of the activities of I-Innovate, a Ste(a)m educational specialist, which aims to bring opportunities to learners at schools in underprivileged communities and to develop the skills that are needed in the digital age.

Learners were placed into groups of four to five on the day, with a teacher and parents on hand to guide them through the various activities­.

 
 

Building a live circuit and a robot from scratch were among the many tasks done during day one of the three-day programme­.

The materials used for each module were provided by the organisation leading the challenge.

Trisha Crookes, I-Innovate’s CEO, was also present to provide learners and teachers with a step-by-step guide on how to create good and strong modules.

“With these hands-on design challenges, we make complex AI concepts accessible to children and their families.

“Learners create their first robots while learning the building blocks of computer science and AI,” she explains­.

“Parents and teachers have been inspired by this new way of learning and can see a new level of excitement for learning in their children.

“More importantly, over the course of the challenge, participants develop a learner mindset that gives them a lifelong ability to innovate and problem-solve.”

The programme is set to follow additional events in the Mother City over the next six months.

It is run is in partnership with USA developer, Curiosity Machine, and local non-profit organisation, the Sakhikamva Foundation, to bring the concept to more than 20 000 learners in poor communities across the world.

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