Technology giant IBM has introduced an online programme dubbed TryScience targeted at 8- to 16-year-olds in South Africa to nurture their interest in the fields of science and technology.
TryScience will offer interesting, interactive exhibits, live cameras, multimedia adventure, and field trips from over 700 science and technology centres across the globe, says IBM.
IBM South Africa’s corporate citizenship and corporate affairs manager Sydney Hadebe said TryScience provides free lessons, along with teaching strategies and resources which targets to fill the vacuum of more than 60 percent job opportunities available in the field of science and technology.
“South Africa needs at least quadruple increase in the number of senior researchers, pump in millions in science and technology performing institution to produce excellent work force in the sector that will lead to economic and social development.”
According to IBM, the project will inject aspects of innovation approaches to teaching and learning of technology, science engineering and mathematics for creating talents, leading to greater workforce in the industry.
He further said that the programme will offer the young people an opportunity to come up with solutions for the existing challenges thus preparing them for the next tasks of being the future innovators.
Children are excited with imagination and the company’s focus is to use all fast and fun-moving entertainment to reach out to the target group.
“The site features are designed to provide teachers with additional information and tools to focus on creating interest to pupils in the technology innovative field,” Hadebe said.
Hadebe hopes the project will work since past research has shown that project-based learning tend to improve students’ output by helping them to understand, interpret, apply and gain knowledge to develop critical and communication skills.
He further stated that the South Africa’s universities have the potential to produce graduates with relevant technical skills to enable them grow and compete effectively in the job market.
The IBM has already partnered with the Department of Science and Technology and installed TryScience kiosks in seven science museums and centres in the country including Pretoria Science Centre, MTN’s Cape Town Science Centre, Mondi Science Centre, in Mpumalanga, Unizul Science Centre, Durban Science Centre, Museum Africa and Sci Bono Johannesburg.
IBM is a US-based multinational technology and consulting firm that manufactures and sells computer hardware and software in addition to infrastructure, hosting and consulting services .
The firm was established in 1911 and has its offices across the world. In Africa, it operates in South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and Ghana with locals benefitting from its training and employment services.