Silverlea Primary School in Athlone, Cape Town has received a 4IR Stream laboratory from the Sakhikamva Foundation and the Polyoak Packaging Group. The launch is part of an ongoing roll-out of Stream (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Aeronautics and Mathematics) laboratories that are igniting coding and robotics learning in SA schools. This is the first time a primary school has been outfitted with the fully equipped, 40-person tech laboratory environment.
Silverlea Primary School learners | image supplied
“The new Stream laboratory provides a stimulating environment for the development of Stem, that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, skills,” says Fatima Jakoet, the founder of Sakhikamva Foundation.
“The classroom is furnished with technologically advanced equipment such as robotics, 3-D printers, drones, AI kits as well as engineering and science kits. For the educators and learners at Silverlea Primary, this will ensure that their children, from Grades R to 7, can develop essential skills in artificial intelligence, design thinking, robotics, coding, aviation and space science.”
The Sakhikamva Foundation has previously opened Stream laboratories at Lanseria Airport in Gauteng, Get Ahead College in the Eastern Cape and Goodwood College in Cape Town.
Principal Sharon Coetzee says: “We are very excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity and investment bestowed on us by the Sakhikamva Foundation and Polyoak Packaging Group. The laboratory will promote a learning environment for kids with talents beyond the traditional curriculum. We will be able to lay the foundation for coding and robotics at primary school level so that our kids will have programming skills that will make them eligible to high schools offering continuing education in the tech and IT field."
"However, there are also other major benefits. Hands-on learning activities will help improve concentration levels; the laboratory environment will promote a culture for teamwork, and grappling with a curriculum such as robotics will evoke important qualities such as perseverance. Overall, our learners will now have a fantastic chance to be more prepared for the technological changes in the world," Coetzee concludes.
The Sakhikamva Foundation is a non-profit organisation focused on the skills development of youth and children in the 4IR context. Through Stream Laboratories and many other Stem enrichment programmes and activities, the organisation has engaged with more than 150,000 learners across the country. The roll-out of Stream Laboratories is an ongoing effort to bring learners into quality tech spaces to explore, discover, create and learn new skills essential in 21st Century life.