This week high school students and teachers at the Goodwood College in Ruyterwacht, Cape Town, got access to an exciting world of drones, 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence, when their school became the third school in South Africa to launch a 4iR STREAM Lab. At a time when the inequalities in SA education have been starkly highlighted, Sakhikamva Foundation, a STEM education specialist, is rolling out exceptional 21st Century science and technology centres in under-resourced communities.
The establishment of a 4iR STREAM Laboratory at Goodwood College has been made possible with sponsorship from African technology investment group, AYO Technology Solutions. “We believe that innovation drives growth,” says Jeni Kostova, Group Executive: Marketing at AYO Technology Solutions. “Through our partnership with Sakhikamva we want to empower young South Africans to solve real-world challenges, fuel growth and shape a better future for the country.”
STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Aeronautics and Mathematics) education focuses on the development of essential skills and knowledge, by enabling children to enjoy hands-on experience with the technologies that are currently re-shaping our world. It’s an important priority for education in South Africa, where some children still matriculate without ever getting their hands on a computer. The new 4iR STREAM Lab at Goodwood College includes the Grade 8-12 learners and their educators in a unique community of practice to develop creative, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Sakhikamva Foundation is a non-profit organisation which has touched the lives of more than 130 000 children through its range of STREAM enrichment programmes, including connecting SA schools to science projects underway on the International Space Station. When it comes to educating the youth for the 4iR, which features world-changing technologies that are fundamentally disrupting the work that humans do, South Africa faces critical challenges. Many schools lack access to basic technology; teachers are not taught how to develop 4iR skills in the classroom; Internet access is far from universal and still costs too much, and schools in rural and low income communities remain disproportionately cut off from the resources they need for 4iR teaching and learning.
Virginia Africa, Principal of Goodwood College says, “As a school with a long history, it’s our aim to enable our learners to develop to their fullest potential. In today’s world; and for the world of work that we are preparing them for, this is simply not possible without giving them hands-on access to the technologies shaping our world. The 4iR STREAM Lab is an incredible asset for our school which will change destinies in our Ruyterwacht community.”
Goodwood College’s exciting STREAM Laboratory is powered by the innovative Gamma education platform and includes tablets and drones as well as AI, robotics and app-making kits.Founder of Sakhikamva Foundation, Fatima Jakoet says, “With the opening of this third 4iR STREAM Laboratory, we are delighted to welcome Goodwood College into our family where curiosity and wonder are highly prized.Teachers will be trained in STREAM philosophy and teaching methodologies, and learners will enter into a fascinating new world during their Technology classes and through after-school activities.This fantastic new space for real 21st Century skills development in Ruyterwacht is a strong, 4iR learning centre, fully equipped with tech and connectivity, to empower learners to develop as the leaders, innovators, change agents and problem-solvers in their community.”