May 2, 2017
BITRI’s Mabedi Motimedi (in a BITRI shirt) playing Mhele game with a pupil, while the other pupil plays as a single player. The game, together with Morabaraba is being developed by BITRI under the indigenous games portal.
BITRI participated in the Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Festival from 10 – 13 April 2017. The event was held in Francistown at the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education and was patronized by STEM enthusiasts, most of them primary and secondary school pupils. The event held under the theme “STEM for Development: Creating a Sustainable Future for Botswana” attracted participation from institutions and businesses with a focus on STEM as well as primary and secondary schools, primarily from Francistown and environs.
During the Welcome Remarks of the official opening, the Executive Mayor of the City of Francistown, Her Worship Sylvia Muzila said that young people have great ideas that can transform Botswana‘s economy and put an end to youth unemployment.
“We need more of these fairs and information dissemination platforms for our young learners. This help make them realize and appreciate that they have talent that they can use to invert new instruments and models that can be used to create employment for themselves and also for the broader economy,” she said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Theophilus Mooko the Mayor’s assertions and he added that the festival should bear tangible outcomes. Dr Mooko also said that his Ministry will play an important role in transforming Botswana from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy and link different stakeholders whose contributions are vital to this pursuit.
“This is an enormous responsibility which calls upon all of us to work together in order to transform our promise into tangible results. There is a need to have a common understanding of the value of STEM and how it relates to their day-to-day lives. I have no doubt that STEM festival will go a long way towards assisting us to accomplish this goal,” he said.
BITRI exhibited the load management device, with Researcher Dumisani Benard and Ronnie demonstrating its usage to customers. KSBB Technology, Morabaraba and Mhele were shown on television screens, with the former attracting the more mature audience in the form of potential investors and end users who would like to use the product for construction, mainly of residential houses. The Morabaraba and Mhele games attracted a mix of young and old, but pupils mainly enjoyed the games
The pupils were also given the NanoWorld and NanoVerse educational animation booklets to read and answer questions related to their contents. The booklets are aimed at teaching pupils about nanotechnology using storylines that would interest them. The Building Materials Science Division was represented by Mr Mothusi Mokgwa, while Information Systems and Technology were represented by Messers Mabedi Motimedi and Modise Kemelo.