Green light for robots

Robin Beyl telling Garren Diab more about the robot.

St Ursula’s Catholic School embraced the future hands-on when they recently had the opportunity to build and program robots with Mindstorm Lego and other mediums.

On 26 and 27 June, St Ursula’s was visited by representatives of Junior Engineers for Africa (Jefa) for the second subsequent year, and learned more about robotics and how robots function.

Vuyisa Mncwaba shows off his robot.

In 2006, Jefa was born out of a small outreach programme run by teens who used technical Lego to teach engineering principles and robotics to children. They now run workshops at schools and science festivals locally and internationally.

According to Robin Beyl, Operations Manager for Jefa, they run a number of engineering programmes aimed at various age groups.

“What’s great about this programme is the fact that the learners not only extend their knowledge base, but they also pick up a few life- and thinking skills during the two-day course,” he said.

On the first day they learned more about simplified robotics and programming, including movement and motion sensors. On the second day, things got more intense as they learnt about their robots completing tasks and following lines.

Lenhle Mlangeni and Michael Mosing programming their robot.

“They have really improved from last year, when we handled beginner robotics. We are looking forward to coming back every year,” Robin concluded.

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Alanicka Lotriet

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