Every school holidays, young minds from across the province sacrifice their late morning sleep by coming and taking part at the Geekulcha VacWork programme which is aimed at building ICT and Entrepreneurship skills capacity.
This time around, the programme took place from the 4th until the 15th of July at Code Tribe, The Innovation Hub. Scholars were transported by the Tshwane Bus Services everyday.
The VacWork programme accommodates youngsters from the Youth FabLab programme powered by the City of Tshwane and The Innovation Hub while others applied online through future.geekulcha.com. Up to 50 youngsters took part including two young man who came all the way from Mpumalanga.
As usual, the aspects of Mobile Apps, Web Applications, Electronics/Robotics, Graphics Design and Business Applications were covered. VacWork programme is based on learn-by-doing model in which the youngsters are assigned mentors (Geekulcha crew and the community) who help them throughout. Depending on the length of the school holiday, they get to build products or services that addresses a need in line with theme given.
A field trip was conducted, youngsters got an opportunity to visit the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) observatory Centre in Harteestebees. After the visit, some of the youngsters have since grown interest in Astronomy.
On this edition, theme was "Modern Workplace" with an intention to get the young people involved in designing or at least re-invent better environment of tomorrow's working place and processes.
Dressed formal wear, the youngsters presented their projects to a panel of judges which consisted of previous VacWork schoolers. Mr McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub, addressed the youngsters before the presentations.
Here are the highlighted projects from the programme:
Future Electronics Innovators: Helping you make sure that your house appliances/operations are autonomous and helping optimize energy consumption while you are at work. The system helps control lights, aircons, fire detection, etc.
Art Sensation: Graphics design service provider with an aim of helping startups design to their needs. Here are some of the logos they designed during the programme (excluding The Innovation Hub, Geekulcha, City of Tshwane and mLab SA logos):
Next edition of the VacWork programme will be taking place in October and promises to be as exciting. Previous schoolers may again apply for the programme which is free from the age of 9 up to metric level.
University students may apply to mentors in which they will be taken through Train The Trainer to be in a better position.
Geekulcha would like to thank The Innovation Hub, City of Tshwane and mLab Southern Africa for their continuous support to make sure that the youngsters are well taken care of. Another thank you is extend to the mentors who shared their skills with the younger ones.