Posts tagged as: robotics

Liberia: Mixing Arts With Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

By Claudia Smith

It Takes a Village Africa, Founded by Matu Davis and her two artistic daughters, Erica Davies Cole (Spokesperson) and Evonne Adebo, have begun focusing on their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, and have now incorporated Arts (STEAM) to improve competitiveness in science and technology development for children who require a more creative way of learning. “The first program that we are doing, called Girls in Technology, is another aspect of the STEM. STEAM is where we incorporate the arts. My sister is an artist and she recommended that arts be added into the STEM program,” Erica added. “We are partnering with Liberian organizations that need these STEM and STEAM components.”

STEAM is an educational program that has been executed across the world, but is now in Liberia for the first time. It engages students in incorporated learning as they explore the world around them, thus allowing them to create innovative solutions to problems, and communicate their results while learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

STEAM is more than just the subjects, it is the intentional mixing of core contents with arts to inspire all students to think deeply, develop creative solutions, and aspire to a greater future. “We have another organization that’s doing arts where we take the children there to perform arts, drawing, different things of that nature just to be able to open up their creative third eye,” Erica stated. She says she and her siblings grew up with the fundamentals of arts, where they we were able to play violin, piano, learn Latin, Ballet, painting, etc.

“We also engaged another organization in August that was able to have a Robotics Camp, teaching kids the dynamics of how to put together the mechanics (ROBOTS). With STEM, they also get to learn the Periodic Table, about carbon and carbon monoxide, which is very important,” she added. Erica also believes that children who are aware of different things that they sometimes don’t learn in school will be able to learn simplistic concepts through the STEAM program.

Meanwhile, the international focus of the STEM program is to develop rigorous math and science skills through engineering, while the STEAM initiative embraces the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics to engage all students in authentic learning STEM is a global initiative, and for Erica and It Takes a Village Africa, their inspiration is the children.

“I look at the children here in Liberia and it really brightens up my day. I see a lot of the children that’s here that are smart, creative and artistic. But they’ll go to school and be considered dull; and they are not, they are geniuses. We need to give them the tools to succeed” she revealed.

“We at It Take a Village Africa want to provide the children with the tools to be able to succeed by accommodating them. With each pupil’s profile, we are able to test them and place them where they need to be placed and be in cooperation with the parents as well. Their parents and the holistic community as a whole will play a major role; therefore, we engage the parents and don’t want this to be something the kids just come or sneak into; It takes a village to raise a child.


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East Africa: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

analysisBy Dawn Rowlands

Upskilling in the art of the 4th Industrial Revolution – Previous industrial revolutions have driven development by introducing new forms of power generation, mass production and information processing, the 4th Industrial Revolution is categorised by the integration of technology, internet, global mobile connectivity, data analysis, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, all altering and disrupting manufacturing and service industries in speed, scale and power.

As previous industrial revolutions introduced noteworthy economic, political and social changes, the 4th Industrial Revolution also brings major impacts on governments, businesses, the economy and media. A key example is represented by new digital platforms, which are disrupting traditional ways of retrieving services by bringing together demand and supply within the new shared economy. It also brings about new types of services and pushes companies to rethink the way they run their business. With the above being said, below are a few disrupters within the industry, it is important for you to keep your business abreast of these changes which are set to revolutionise the way we do things in our organisation.

Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous

Today’s business environment can be described as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA). This has placed immense pressure on every business to continue to re-invent itself and constantly diversify its services. With this said, 50% of today’s Top 100 businesses, will not exist in their current form within the next 5 years. This uncertainty stems from what businesses should be focusing on. Which leads us to the question, what exactly should they be placing their emphasis on?

Dynamic, Exciting, Limitless and Instant

Focus should be driven around a world that is Dynamic, Exciting, Limitless and Instant (DELI). If one starts to view your business through the lens of a start-up, what would change? What level of innovation would you deliver? What would you focus on fiercely? What would you do with the fastest momentum? Businesses should view the world not as a VUCA world, but rather as a DELI environment.

Global Media Partners Driving Culture

We have observed the rapid adoption of social media, both thesize and scale of the “media populations” that have been created. As audiences converge on these platforms they will also be able to be segmented into a segment of one. This will require agile segmentation, as well as insights and tools. As brands, you will be expected to get your message 100% correct for the consumer. The segment of one; consumers will become unforgiving of a brand’s inability to recognize their needs across a global platform. It is therefore vital to get this right, to avoid an instant global disaster.

From Campaign to Innovation

Brands have started to shift from campaigns to product innovation. The key areas of focus going forwardwill be product design and innovation. Campaigns will just become words in the wind, but useful products and services, will drive consumer adoption in the future.

Whilst we are trying to guesswhat the future looks like, we forget that we are in the business of creating that future for brands and shareholders. However, we can already see some innovations that will drive change in the short term.

The game changers in innovation are; Machine and Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain Technology, Sensor Technologies, Internet of Everything, Robotics, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Let’s touch on a few of these innovations:

Machine and Deep Learning: Many companies are already using this to drive solutions for customers and sales. Amazon and Google are already doing this. Google is however combining a few pieces of technology already, which makes what they offer to consumers seamless and compelling.

Amazon’s Recommendation Engine for example, uses math & statistics to generate a model of how a system works based on a defined feature or outcome.

Google Driverless Cars to Google Urban Planning, is another great example. It creates relationships between disparate models, understands their relationships and creates improvements to themselves based on this understanding.

Blockchain technology: Another innovation isthe combination ofblockchain with a GM fleet of self-driving cars. Venture Capitalists have invested roughly $1 billion into 120 blockchain related start-ups. 50% of that investment was made in 2015.

Internet of Everything: The Internet of everything brings people, processes, data and things together. When devices are connected to the internet they can order supplies, inform decisions and help make our lives more efficient. This will make cities for efficient and urbanization faster.

Robotics – Forecast to be a US$80 billion industry by 2020: Dentsu and SoftBank Robotics created the world’s first robot that has its own emotions known as Pepper. The goal with Pepper is to see how talking, human-like robots might help people in a society where more and more people, including the elderly, live alone. This is especially relevant in Japan where more than 22 per cent of the population is already over the age of 65 and fertility rates are declining.

Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality glasses made a HUGE leap in quality this past year. They’re still not ready for consumers, but it is time to start using these in your business.

Virtual Reality is here and is not going away. If you’re in the media business, it is time to put big money into building content. There are a ton of new 360-degree cameras to enable just that.

IoT and Bluetooth connectivity keeps spreading to everything, which enables not just new products but new business models as well

(The author of this article is the ‎CEO Dentsu Aegis Network Sub-Saharan Africa)

The Sky Is the Limit for These Feza Students

By Elizabeth Tungaraza

Last week, Feza Boy’s Secondary School had their school exhibition on Mother’s Day. Students showed their talents through music, drama, poems, and dance.

Preparations for the occasion had started several weeks back. It involved students’ competition in different exhibitions like entrepreneurship, arts, robotics, farming, music, theatre, and media clubs to name just a few.

Speaking with Young Citizen, Form 5 PCB student Khalfan Ahmed from the Robotics Club said that their club encourages creativity in making simple robots and programming them.

“The robots we have created imitate on real appliances. We want to encourage other students to learn Programming languages such as java, python and c++” he noted.

He said that their club has managed to attain several new members who are also interested in robotics and as well as programming.

“Some of the robots we have created were demonstrated during the previous Form Four graduations. The robots include: Snatcher, Shooter, Printer and Line follower,” he said.

Khalfan further explained the applications of the robots. The Snatcher is used in construction to lift heavy objects (fork lift); Shooter is used in the military as a missile launcher; Printer is used to produce hard copies and Line follower can be used in advanced automobiles.

“Our club was awarded bronze medals at Galaxy International School Uganda earlier this year and in June this year we will be competing in Vienna, Austria,” noted Mwidadi Msangi.

Mwidadi said they hope that through their club, they will be able to develop technological advancements in Tanzania.

“We believe that robots with artificial intelligence can lead to heavy industrialisation, self-employment and improvement in social services” he noted.

Ahmed said that recently a blind Microsoft programmer designed glasses that help blind people to see by taking a digital photograph, analysing it and informing him what’s happening around him.

“We need the community’s support to be successful. We plan to make our ideas accessible to all so that they can empower many,” he said.

Robotics and programming club was initiated in 2015, co-founded by Khalfan Ahmed, Aliasger Dossaji, Mwidadi Msangi and Habib Suleiman with their supervisor Mr Ibrahim Kinal. Also, the Helping Hands Charity Club too, had an amazing exhibition. Speaking with this magazine, the chair person of the club Godbless Azimio said that there are people who cannot even afford the basic requirements of living. They do not have shelter, food, or clothes. They wanted to do something about that.

“One way that we can help the poor and needy people is to offer moral support. Showing heartfelt humility and respect makes them aware that someone really does care about them and is trying to improve their condition. This is what we do in our club. We are glad that our parents support us too, ” he said.

Sheilla Juma, a parent who attended the event, said that the exhibitions are beneficial in today generations because it helps to train and make them to live their dreams.

“This is great. Those children at the Robotics, I am sure they are going to become great scientists when they grow up. That is for the doctor’s club too,” she noted.

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