Northmead Primary School pupils showcased unique inventions created under a first-of-its kind coding programme sponsored by Stanbic Bank Zambia.
In July 2022, Stanbic launched a coding programme at Northmead Primary School aimed at driving technological innovation, which assists pupils in growing their awareness of technology.
This programme centred on STEAM – five key subjects, namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts andMathematics.
Since launching the coding programme last July, over 30 students were taught basic technology uses as well as basic programming.
Several pupils were exposed to technology, such as computers & Raspberry Pi, for the first time and were able to gain new knowledge.
Additionally, these students worked on real-world problems to demonstrate their newfound knowledge by creating innovative inventions, which included: a chat bot, a temperature station and time-lapse camera.
The 2023 STEAM Showcase reveals exciting inventions
During the Showcase at the Stanbic Yamene Leadership Centre, the Bank’s state-of-the-art training facility in Lusaka’s Kabulonga area recently, the pupils, who were working in three separate groups, unveiled the three inventions through a video clip and explained how they were created to help solve common problems.
Students from “Team Kuwala” built a chat bot that functions as an instant chat messenger on a computer.
“We’re still programming it to help us for exam practice, to ask it questions and reply to us. That’s our project,” Mafo, a pupil explains, as he demonstrated the interactive tool.
Jeoffrey, another pupil from “Team Mosi-oa-Tunya”, showcased his team’s temperature station, which responds to a series of commands to check temperature and humidity levels in any given environment.
Sharon, a pupil from the third group, “Team Young Technologists”, demonstrated how their project, a time-lapse camera, operated.
“You can use the time-lapse camera for taking pictures of seeing a plant grow, when you plant a seed. You can take pictures every week because the plant takes a long time to grow. You can also use it for security,” Sharon explained.
At the event, Stanbic Chief Executive, Mr. Mwindwa Siakalima, said: “As a Bank, we decided to work with young learners to enhance the focus on STEAM in order to stimulate creativity, encourage innovation, boost self-confidence and improve teamwork. These skills-sets are essential in enabling young people grow and develop professional careers, to help create jobs and to improve economic productivity. So, the coding programme will not only benefit the young learners, but the community at large.
“…As the Fourth Industrial Revolution quickly gathers momentum, it is imperative that our educational curriculum reforms to adopt technological subjects to respond to the changing needs of the global and local economy. Our young learners must be sufficiently prepared and ready to enter the labour market in an ever-changing, dynamic, digital economy.”
Government applauds Stanbic’s STEAM investment
Speaking at the same event, Technology and Science Minister, Hon. Felix Mutati expressed delight that the coding programme had equipped learners with essential skills to grow the economy through entrepreneurship.
In a speech read on his behalf by Jane Mubanga Chinkusu, the Director, Science, at the Ministry of Technology and Science, Mr. Mutati said: “The New Dawn Government is delighted that Stanbic decided to partner with Northmead Primary School to empower our young learners via the STEAM project. Developing skills in science and technology will not only help grow the economy but create the much-needed jobs for our young people by driving innovation. Our learners, who participated in the pilot project launched last year, will drive STEAM as part of embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is largely characterised by technological innovation as a key driver of economic growth and productivity”
And in a speech read on behalf of Education Minister, Hon. Douglas Siakalima, Ministry of Education Acting Director – Standards – Mr. James Chomba said: “we would like to commend Stanbic for taking the initiative to partner with us in addressing poverty and inequality by investing in the STEAM subjects, a major game-changer that will prove vital in improving the quality of our school curriculum.”
Over 30 pupils also recently graduated following the conclusion of the pilot programme at Northmead Primary School.