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What happens when the regular education system is too slow to keep up with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)? An inspirational SA woman brings 4IR to the classroom. Yup – we’re talking the aerospace industry, and all the trimmings that come with this brave new skills space, from robotics to artificial intelligence, and more…
Fatima Jakoet is a forensic scientist and pilot. She’s also the founder of Sakhikamva Foundation, the brains behind opening up the 4IR learning space to young South Africans. Through its Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) programmes and outreach projects, the foundation has interacted with more than 130 000 youth across SA, mostly at under-resourced schools. So, what exactly is Fatima teaching SA’s youth?
About the STREAM Club
STREAM education – an acronym for Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – focuses on enabling children to develop competencies such as complex problem-solving skills, coordinating with others, critical thinking and creativity.
Through STREAM laboratories and other STEM enrichment programmes and activities, learners are brought into quality tech spaces to explore, discover, create and learn new skills essential in 21st century life.
The foundation has just launched the sixth lab of its kind in SA – at Heatherlands High in George. Fatima has previously opened STREAM labs at Lanseria Airport in Gauteng, the Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology, Get Ahead College in the Eastern Cape, Goodwood College and Silverlea Primary in Cape Town.
A fast-changing world…
One of the most pressing concerns about our fast-changing, tech-driven world is whether the slow-moving education system can effectively equip children with the skills they need to thrive as adults. As South Africa’s Department of Basic Education is in the pilot phase of rolling out the country’s first coding and robotics curriculum, millions of our children are not yet accessing vital aspects of education that they need today to be successful in the 4IR workforce of their future.
“We welcome Heatherlands High and its school community into our family,” says Fatima of the latest addition. “We will be supporting and training teachers in STREAM philosophy and teaching methodologies so that they can expertly guide their learners through amazing 21st Century learning experiences. The school’s 4IR STREAM laboratory is a new community space for real 4IR skills development in George, fully equipped with tech and connectivity, to empower learners to develop as the leaders, innovators, change agents and problem-solvers in their community.”
4IR in South Africa
With the opening of Heatherlands High 4iR STREAM laboratory, learners will enter an exciting world of drones, 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence. Agile, flexible programmes such as 4iR STREAM labs in South Africa are playing a significant role in filling the gap.
The Heatherlands High STREAM laboratory includes tablets and drones as well as AI, robotics and app-making kits so that learners get to discover and experiment with the technologies that are currently reshaping our world. The facility includes a 4iR classroom as well as a drone lab.
“We look forward to introducing our Grade 8 and 9 learners to this new program, which will take them beyond the classroom to explore the fields of coding and robotics, and much more,” says Principal of Heatherlands High, Salomo Moses. “The 4iR STREAM lab will also foster opportunities for teamwork and developing leadership, communication, creative and design skills. With the opening of the lab, our school has taken a giant leap in providing a 4IR education where our learners can one day compete for the new types of jobs and be successful in the digital economy.” We’re for it!