Innovative robotics skills program teaches SA teens how to build a Mars Rover
For the first time in South Africa, 600 learners across the country will be able to explore robotics as a viable career option.

Earlier this year, the country had a near panic attack when government hinted at the possible scrapping of mathematics as a compulsory subject.

But exciting projects like the robotics skills development program by General Electric (GE) South Africa, offers some surety as to the advancement of careers that depend on mathematical proficiency. 

Introduction to Mechatronics (i2M) Powered by GE is a South African first, giving learners from 20 schools across the country the opportunity to build their own robots. 

Also read: Science and cocktails: Making science cool

Of those selected, 88% are all girls’ schools. 

“Gender diversity is an important consideration…women account for 28.4% in scientific research and development careers,” says GE Communications Specialist Nthabiseng Jonas. 

600 learners form part of the program and will be working towards engineering fully functional robots modeled after the Mars Rover. 

The i2M supplied instructional material has been created by mechanical, electronic and software engineers, and includes a physical robotics kit with an easy to follow guide for constructing their machines. 

Also read: The school science curriculum needs input from real, working scientists  

Each school will also document their progress by video diary. 

The project will conclude with a grand finale in October, where the top three students will be awarded. 

Here’s a look at the programme: 

Read more: 


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