Thulamela Mayor Sarah Rambuda (seated in front) surrounded by some of the Grade 11 learners of Mbilwi Secondary School, with their teacher, Mr Tshifhiwa Tshidzumba (standing in the back) during Rambuda’s visit to the school to congratule them on winning the Samsung competition. Photo supplied.
Samsung South Africa has declared Mbilwi Secondary School the winner of the local edition of its “Solve for Tomorrow” digital-skills-development competition.
The hackathon-style initiative was designed to increase interest and proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) education. According to Samsung, Solve for Tomorrow had reached more than 1.5 million contestants in more than 30 countries around the world by 2020.
Announced in March, this year’s competition was facilitated by Samsung, in partnership with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). It targets Grade 10 and 11 learners from underserved communities, giving them an opportunity to gain tech skills, while solving some of the challenges within their communities through STEM.
The local contest kicked-off with 51 pre-selected schools nationally. Participating schools had to identify problems in their communities that they could solve using STEM. With Samsung helping them with resources and mentors guiding them, they had to conduct research and develop prototypes.
The winning prototype, as created by the learners from Mbilwi, is a solution to fix all the potholes in their town’s roads by using recyclable and sustainable materials, which include discarded bottles they collected.
“We are proud to see this group of young people applying their minds to learn and help solve some of their communities’ problems, and hope such programmes spark the revolution for positive and sustainable change within communities,” said Mr Shivanda Hlubi, Samsung’s director for business innovation and corporate affairs.
Mbilwi received a cash prize of R100,000. Each winning school’s cash prize will go towards STEM equipment, according to their school’s specific needs.
On Wednesday, 4 October, Thulamela Mayor Sarah Rambuda visited the school to congratulate them on their achievement.
Mr Tshifhiwa Tshidzumba, one of the teachers at Mbilwi Secondary School, said they were happy that the competition had allowed them to do something good for the environment. “Hopefully, it will spark even more interest in others to work on making the environment better for all,” he said.
Date:14 October 2023