SAP team qualifies for global Lego League event
by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SYSTEMS Applications Products (SAP) Africa, the major sponsor of the First Lego League (FLL) in Africa, announced that one of its teams has qualified to compete in the 2014/2015 First Lego League World Class challenge taking place in St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America this week.
The team, SAP I’m POSSIBLE, comprising seven learners from Hoërskool Waterkloof in Pretoria, Gauteng, qualified by winning the Gauteng provincial championship and subsequently the highly competitive South African national FLL competition in December 2014.
The team will be presenting their innovative project solution to over 265 000 children from 80 countries, as well as the judges at the world champs.
Their project, titled ‘The Possibility Table’ comprises an innovative all-in-one school readiness learning solution with seven different learning challenges in the form of alphabets, picture associations, shapes, numbers, colours and dress-myself toys.
For the research part of the competition, the children wanted to find out how children from two local communities surrounding Pretoria preferred to learn, whist taking into account the types of school readiness projects currently available and identifying learning challenges that currently exist.
I’m POSSIBLE coach, Carin de Beer,said SAP Africa had been a tremendous supporter of the FLL for the past decade.
“In addition to providing the world-class robotics kit, SAP is also sponsoring the costs for the participation of our team at the World Class Challenge, which is an opportunity of a life-time for many participants.
” Within two months of testing The Possibility Table the results are life-changing. Besides the new knowledge that has been passed on to the local community care-givers, the children involved in the research can now count, write their own names, tie their shoe laces, match the pictures with alphabets – all of which was not possible before, de Beer commented.
SAP Africa’s participation in the FLL remains a cornerstone of SAP Africa’s CSR engagement on the continent with the programme having also been successfully extended to Nigeria, Mehmood Khan, Chief Operation Officer, SAP Africa, said.
He said further countries across Africa are set to benefit from this programme through SAP’s sponsorship.
“SAP Africa is committed to developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills in Africa as part of our Africa Growth Plan strategy.
“We are delighted with the team’s achievements thus far and wish the team well on the international stage. We are very proud to be associated with such innovative young minds,” said Khan.
FLL is a global initiative that introduces children to the fun and excitement of science and technology, stimulates their creativity in problem solving and develops their ability to work in teams.
Each year the FLL presents a new challenge to competing students between the ages of 9 to 16.
The 2014/2015 theme was “Learning Unleashed” and teams were tasked with the challenge of transforming how learning should ideally be conducted to optimise knowledge and skills for the 21st century.
In the competition, children compete in four categories: robot performance, research and presentation skills and team spirit.
The FLL programme in Africa has been enriched over the years through the volunteering contributions of SAP employees who act as mentors and coaches for the teams and to date, more than 13 500 children in Africa have benefited from the program since SAP’s involvement in 2006.
– CAJ News
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