Daily News E-dition

Talented girls aim to dominate innovation solution industry

MBALI KHANYILE mbali.khanyile@inl.co.za

PUPILS participating in the Robogirl 2023 training aimed to empower young girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field hope the programme will open doors for them in the innovation solutions industry.

The programme, coordinated by the Durban University of Technology in partnership with Lenovo and Toyota South Africa Motors, aims to train 57 girls in coding, robotics and concepts in the Internet of Things (IOT).

Female pupils doing Grades 10 and 11 from 15 disadvantaged schools situated in the ethekwini District began the programme on Monday, which is set to end on Saturday.

Siphesihle Dlamini (17), a grade 11 pupil at Phoenix Technical School, said she began having an interest in computer science after watching a television series about a young remarkable woman who proved wrong those who underestimated her capabilities.

“Her experience motivated me to break the boundaries and enter into a field that was known to have been male-dominated. Nothing can stop me if I focus on my vision. And I believe that if I start working hard now, I’ll achieve reach my goal,” she said.

The girls are divided into separate teams that will present their developed designs of the IOT solution. Their projects will be judged on Saturday by a panel of judges.

Ntandoyenkosi Mbhele, 16 a Grade 11 pupil at Vukuzakhe High School in Umlazi, said it was her first time participating in the programme and she was thrilled to be part of it.

“I am studying Information Technology at school and know the basics of coding. The DUT lecturers are welcoming and I’m looking forward to joining the institution in the future so I can develop my skills in the STEM career,” she said.

Senior lecturer in Information Technology at DUT Ebrahim Asmal said the programme seeks to encourage more girls to enter the STEM field.

“We are looking forward to seeing projects done by the girls which will showcase the work they do. We also believe that the programme will have a significant impact on the skills development of these girls.

“We all know that 60% of all jobs by 2030 will be replaced by robots. This means millions of jobs will be created and they will require technology skills,” said Asmal.

The presentation of designs done by the young girls will take place on Saturday at a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony from 5 pm at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban.

Winners will be announced at the event.

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Wednesday, December 06 2023






African News Agency