A project supported by South32 is providing secondary school learners in South Africa’s Northern Cape with skills in how to create robots, and encouraging the next generation of scientists, mathematicians and engineers. 

The Robotics Academy, which launched earlier this year, trains educators and learners about emerging technologies including the internet of things, robotics and artificial intelligence.  

Our South Africa Manganese operation teamed up with the Department of Mineral Resources & Energy, the Northern Cape Department of Education and Split Second Science Education Foundation to create the Academy, with six projects currently running in rural villages in the Hotazel and Kuruman areas. 

The Academy teaches learners to build programmable robots from scratch – from creating drawings and designs to building the machines using high-quality motors, sensors, gears, wheels and axles. The learners gain hands-on experience using mathematical concepts such as estimating and measuring distance, time and speed.  

Teachers are also getting specific training to run the program, which the South African government plans to scale up nationally and introduce to 200 schools.