Armed with laptops, some creativity and lots of curiosity, Uitenhage pupils broadened their technological horizons yesterday when they took part in Africa Code Week (ACW).
Marymount Convent High School pupils visited Uitenhage’s Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre, where ACW is taking place.
The 28 pupils used an application called Scratch to create interactive stories, games, and animations.
Hosted for the first time in the Eastern Cape, ACW is aimed at bridging the technological divide among pupils in various communities.
Marymount Grade 10 pupils Unathi Mdlangu, 16, and Abongile Chiliwe, 16, said they were amazed by the technology.
“It’s great that we are able to learn about programming, as it gives us a taste of what people in those fields have to contend with on a day-today basis,” Unathi said.
Abongile said: “This programme is very helpful as it shows us how technology has advanced over the years. “It also gives us a chance to learn more about IT in the event we want to go in that direction”.
Teacher Lumka Ntumani said the interactive session had opened pupils’s minds to programming and coding.
“Being here gives them a glimpse into what the job entails. “For those interested in becoming programmers, this session unpacks it and gives them the practical skills they would need to thrive in that field,” Ntumani said.
ACW was initiated last year through a number of organisations including software firm SAP, Galway Education Centre and the Cape Town Science Centre.
The venue hosting the programme was made available by the Uitenhage Despatch Development Initiative.
Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre curriculum and facilities head Chris McCartney said it was exciting to host ACW.
“Through this programme, not only will learners’ problem-solving and analytical reasoning be enhanced, but their interest in harnessing coding as a skill could shape their future professional development,” he said.
Several high schools from Uitenhage and Despatch have been invited to take part in ACW.
Molly Blackburn Secondary pupils attended on Monday.
Uitenhage High pupils were meant to attend yesterday but could not due to unforeseen circumstances.
Limekhaya High and VM Kwinana Secondary will take part for the remaining days this week.