Cape Town - The Sakhikamva Foundation in partnership with the Polyoak Packaging Group has launched a brand new 4iR Stream laboratory at Silverlea Primary School in Athlone.
The Stem education specialist foundation launched the tech-savvy lab yesterday, as part of its ongoing roll-out of Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Aeronautics and Mathematics (Stream) laboratories in schools across the country
Sakhikamva founder Fatima Jakoet said Silverlea’s new laboratory was the first lab a primary school has received from the organisation, and the fourth lab to be donated to a South African school.
She said: “The new Stream laboratory will provide a stimulating environment for the development of Stem skills, once the classroom is furnished with technologically advanced equipment such as robotics, 3D printers, drones, AI kits as well as engineering and science kits.
For the educators and pupils at Silverlea, this will ensure pupils, from Grades R to 7, develop essential skills in artificial intelligence (AI), design thinking, robotics, coding, aviation, and space science.”
Polyoak Packaging group managing director, Jeremy Mackintosh said: "We are delighted to be part of this initiative that helps to prepare the children of Silverlea for a future driven by technology.
“Too often, children from under-resourced communities get left behind in education, which has lifelong impact. We hope that the school’s new Stream laboratory will open up many opportunities for their children to unlock their talents and take their places as future change agents and problem-solvers,” said Mackintosh.
Silverlea principal, Sharon Coetzee, said: “We are very excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity and investment by Sakhikamva and Polyoak. We will be able to lay the foundation for coding and robotics at primary school level. Our pupils will now have a fantastic chance to be more prepared for the technological changes in the world.”
Silverlea pupil 13-year-old Michelle Mhizha said, she was excited about the lab because it meant that pupils could now have a place to physically practise and experience what they learn in their science and technology classes.