Talented youngsters take part in General Electrics Robotics Programme


The General Electric (GE) Innovation Centre, based in Houghton, hosted schoolchildren on 6 October to celebrate the finale of the Intro to Megatronics (i2M) Robotics Programme.

The i2M programme was started by GE to teach young children about robotics and electronics. GE partnered with Digicate, a digital education company to encourage children to become excited about technology.

In August, 600 schoolchildren from 30 schools across the country were provided with a basic kit to make a Mars Rover. The kit included wheels, batteries and a computer board to be used as the base of the robot.

The best submissions were then invited to the Innovation Centre to show off their creations and programme them to use an allocated track. The winning contestant was awarded a 3Dprinter as well as a 3D printer for their school.

Dimitri Quadflieg, the founder and CEO of Digicate said, “The i2M programme powered by GE is the first of its kind in South Africa and it was designed to educate, stimulate and shape digital minds.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from the 30 schools who were chosen to participate. It’s not just about putting a kit together, but it’s about how to solve something and think through the process.”

The finalists were chosen based on the skills they had presented during the submissions. They were also expected to use recyclable materials to add to their robotics kits in order to present their final Mars Rover.

Speaking to the children at the finale, Thomas Konditi, the CEO of GE South Africa said, “It’s really about the future that you have. When I was looking at a TV screen I had no idea that we could have a world where you have iPads and robots in classrooms, so just think that down the road you are going to see amazing things happen and hopefully, you’re a part of making those things happen.”

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Laura Pisanello

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