Fun, scientific carnival for all

Daniel McIver enjoying the moon rocket the Africa Code Week Coding Carnival in Observatory. PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku
Daniel McIver enjoying the moon rocket the Africa Code Week Coding Carnival in Observatory. PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

Hundreds of people, young and old, participated in free coding workshops during the Africa Code Week Coding Carnival held at the Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC) in Observatory on Saturday 12 October. Julie Cleverdon, the director at CTSC, said the interest in the carnival increases yearly. It was first held five years ago.

An energetic team of volunteers assisted attendees. Tour guides at the centre helped them explore scientific coding on Bee-Bots and OzoBots, Makey Makey, Six Bricks, Binary Bracelet and drone coding.

Spectators were exposed to various coding methods, learning more about science and technology.

Cleverdon said this not only promoted a tech-savvy community but critical thinking as well.

She said with coding a person had to think fast and be proficient in problem-solving “which is essential for building a productive nation”.

She said it was important that platforms like these were created and were open to all as the world was moving to a digital space, fast. It promised a prosperous future, but parents should get involved and equipped with skills to help them monitor and ensure children effectively use technology for the betterment of themselves as well as preparing themselves to cope with the living standards of the next generation.

She was hands-on and visible on the floor, interacting with the public.

Shamegah Dramat from Bo-Kaap took her family to the carnival and said her children were interested in different things and she was making sure they were aware of the opportunities available in various fields.

It was the second time her daughter Leila visited the centre and said science fascinated her. Leila said she learned a lot during the day and, hopefully, would be able to make an informed decision when choosing a career in the future.

Daniel McIver from Edgemead is homeschooled. He spent a lot of time enjoying the moon rocket.

Volunteer Mbali Dumo said it was inspiring for him to be able to share his knowledge about the equipment and variety of scientific projects available at the centre. He was operating the human gyroscope – a simulation of what it feels like to be in the space.

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