Building Digital Skills with Lego
As Merchants and Social Coding move toward the first anniversary of their partnership, the organisations are embarking on a new, exciting project – a Lego League Robotics event, aptly taking place on Youth Day, June 16th.
The event will see 20 teenagers from Segopotje secondary school in Limpopo teaming up with five facilitators from Social Coding and five coaches from the Merchants business, to build and program incredible Lego structures on the day. These students were part of the Junior Pioneers program that was piloted in conjunction with Merchants, which provided technical workshops to grade 8 and 9 learners from rural communities aimed at developing STEM capabilities through computer familiarization, coding and robotics skills.
“For the Merchants coaches, this is an exciting way to get involved in the Social Coding partnership, which has been a source of inspiration for our team as we continue to help drive digital skills in Limpopo,” explains Mat Conn, Group CRO at Merchants. “Not only is this event giving our coaches the opportunity to connect with the students through the training session, but it is an incredible way to learn from them as well. These students are truly remarkable people.”
Social Coding founder, Thembiso Magajana, explains that this is an important step in the partnership. “The training sessions have provided the Segopotje students the opportunity to interact and play with the Merchants mentors – which is incredibly important because it essentially puts a face to the ‘Merchants’ name, which the students have been hearing for the past 11 months. It is an important way to showcase the real care that goes into this partnership, beyond the financial assistance for Social Coding that makes their digital education possible.”
Skills for the Future
While presenting all participants with the opportunity to be creative and play, the training sessions are also working to build coding skills and drive digital inclusion forward – which remains incredibly important for South Africa’s youth.
The final event will give the teams the opportunity to showcase their building and coding skills, as their creations face a panel of judges.