Internationally renowned University of Pretoria (TUKS) has been at the forefront of robotics studies for a number of years – the TUKS Robot Race Day is just one of the annual events that draws thousands of spectators and talent acquisition personnel from leading global companies to the event. Now, TUKS is turning their expertise towards developing the next generation of talent with the 2022 launch of their Robot and Sensor School – hosted at the Moja Gabedi Gardens.
The project, which was inspired by the popular Annual Third-Year Robot Race was initiated at the start of 2021 and aims to provide a platform through which EBIT students can serve the community by presenting fun STEM education activities to school learners. The curricula were designed by University staff in collaboration with postgraduate students and centre around low-cost hardware platforms with accessibility in mind. Apart from the postgraduate students, some of the senior undergraduate students also help to create the hardware and are involved in training the junior community service students who present the course content to the learners.
The Robot and Sensor School is a joint initiative among the university’s Department of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering, the EBIT Faculty-wide second-year community service module JCP203, the University’s Unit for Community Engagement, KTG, and the Department of African Languages. The programme is also supported by RS South Africa. RS is an enthusiastic supporter of education in STEM.
Wesley Hood, Education Specialist for RS said it was a great privilege to support the University of Pretoria with an inspiring journey into developing future engineers. “Although still in its early development, we look forward to continuing to support and grow this project and help inspire the youth in becoming future engineers. We had the opportunity to witness engineering students showcasing their passion for engineering and working countless hours towards achieving their goals of becoming an engineer in the next few years, but at the same time inspiring the younger high school learners to see the potential of becoming an engineer themselves someday,” he said.
Professor Tania Hanekom, Function Head for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Electrical[PTH1] , Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of Pretoria, said that providing world-class education to our students is what they strive for across all departments and the Robot School was just one of the ways education is nurtured. “Our Robot School provides a platform to stimulate curiosity and creativity, which is crucial for the innovation and entrepreneurship that a career in engineering demands[PTH2] . The project exposes learners to the various components of designing and creating a simple robot, e.g., CAD design, 3D printing, programming concepts, electronic hardware concepts and integrating all of these into a working prototype,” she said.
Prof [PTH3] Tania further added that she was grateful to all who have made the project possible. “I want to thank all the departments at TUKS, students and lecturers who dedicate their time and effort to grow this initiative. I also want to thank RS for their ongoing support over the years – we are truly grateful,” she added.
For more information contact RS Components South Africa via email: email@example.com