One of my proudest moments as a teacher were when Mrs Kling (a robot that my students built) got recognition. What was special about this project was the fact that we were the underdogs and knew nothing about robots (myself included) and it took a team of 10 kids and 4 teachers to make this happen. We also had the opportunity to test the robot in the Rising Star cave where no one is allowed to go- what a privilege. Read about the cave here.
I am the proudest of the team work that made this happen. As I said before we were all novices but we had a dream and a plan. We spent many afternoons building the robot and experimenting. Tshimo and Retabile were the faces of the project and made the biggest input but around them there were a host of fellow students, teachers, their parents and other adilts that assisted. Here is a newspaper article about us.
My biggest takeaway from this experience is: You are never too old- or too young to learn. I salute everyone that was part of this project especially Tshimo and Retabile. May their stars always shine bright!!!
Building on yesterday’s article and on the #Road2e2 series where I share info about people, events and places that’s come my way on my journey I want to dedicate another post on the people of Sonderwater. I introduced you to this community yesterday.
The community of Sonderwater called me Maspoti. We are not sure why but it could be because I handed out beanies when I started working in Sonderwater. When I arrived in the community you could hear the kids shout “Maspoti!”
In this corrugated iron building we had a preschool in the mornings and needlework classes for the community ladies in the afternoons. The summers where hot and the winters cold but here I learnt that anything is possible. I witnessed miracles here in my own life and in the life of others.
It was during this time that I realized that I am a teacher at heart. So much so that I handed over my work to someone and took a year off to pursue a post graduate diploma in teaching. I would always be thankful to the people of Sonderwater for this realisation.
Om die een of ander rede het die mense van Sonderwater my Maspoti genoem. ‘n Spoti is ‘n beanie of hoed en ek het eenkeer vir hulle Spoti’s uitgedeel wat iemand geborg het. Dis seker die rede hoekom. Ek gaan nie veel se nie ek wys net die foto’s van hierdie amazing mense.
This post forms part of the #Road2e2 countdown: 58 Days ’till #e2
As a South African citizen I want to see every South African succeed in life. I know that we have all the potential needed to be the best. As a technology educator I believe that it is my responsibility to encourage and assist everyone that I meet to be the best in the current and future world of work especially girls who are chronically underrepresented in the STEM fields to know that they have all the potential and what it takes to succeed to be the best in the STEM field. I have an interest in game based learning and gamification. My goal is to create a space where everyone (focus on women and girls) can collaborate and create games that will benefit Africa. Many of the games that exist today are Eurocentric or Westernized. I want to create games with African characters and story lines.
I have been involved in community projects from a young age. I was lucky enough to have parents that felt the spirit of Ubuntu (I am because we are) I went to Ghana and London in 1997 as part of an exchange programme hosted by Peace Child International(A UN NGO). As a 17 year old I co-founded a computer school on 1998 with my dad called Answer 2001 in Mafikeng. It aimed to teach digital literacy to High School Students. In 1999 my brother, sister and I won the 3rd place in the South African round of the Thinkquest web design competition (thinkquest.com) In 2006 I won the prize for the best NGO in the Potchefstroom (North West Province, South Africa) region. I headed up the Potchefstroom branch of the Thembalitsha foundation at this time. As a teacher I have been involved inAstronomy Quizzes and the Eskom Expo for Young Scientists. Mentoring students and teachers on their journey to become scientists. In 2015 I was the Organizer of the IASC (international asteroid search campaign) a campaign where students get the opportunity to look for asteroids (partners University of Texas, NASA, SAASTA, Johannesburg Observatory) in a few local schools as well as neighboring schools. I was part of the pilot project for Africa Code Week in 2015. (Africacodeweek.org) Teaching learners how to code using the Scratch computer program. I was the regional science fair director for the Johannesburg region in 2016 and 2017 organizing the science fair with over 1200 participants. In 2016 I coached the South African silver medal winners of the World Robotics Olympiad. (Primary Open Category) and in 2018 I coached the South African Gold and silver medalists (Primary Open Category) as well as the Bronze medalists (Junior High Open Category)
I am happily married to an amazing husband. We have two awesome dogs. We enjoy being out in the country. I am a very creative person always on the lookout to learn a new skill.
Life is a journey and it is what you make of it.
I hope that you will linger next to the road with me every once in a while-hopefully with a cup of coffee in hand.