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Lenovo Empowers Future Innovators with 2023 Robogirl Program

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Lenovo, in collaboration with Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Department of Information Technology and Toyota, proudly hosted the impactful 2023 Robogirl program

This initiative aimed to empower 75 young girls by providing comprehensive training in coding, robotics, and the fundamental principles of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Chosen from 15 schools in the eThekwini area, with a focus on historically disadvantaged communities, Robogirl welcomed grade 10 and 11 students, offering them an opportunity to receive education and training in technical fields, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The winners of this year’s competition were announced as Centenary High School, Verulam Islamic School, and Palmview Secondary School.

 

The program structure consisted of three days of intensive training, culminating in a competitive challenge where participating schools had two days to create and develop an innovative IoT solution. Dr. Nevhutalu, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at DUT; Professor Olugbara of DUT; Toyota SA; Old Mutual; IEC; and Microsoft were in attendance, emphasizing the significance of Robogirl as a sustainable socio-economic investment.

Yugen Naidoo, General Manager of Lenovo Southern Africa, emphasized, “Lenovo’s collaboration with DUT for the Robogirl 2023 program underscores our commitment to prepare young girls for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond. Our vision of ‘Smarter Technology for All’ aims to empower underrepresented communities by providing access to STEM education and opportunities for individuals and communities to reach their full potential.”

Addressing gender imbalance and fostering professional development, Robogirl contributes to reducing the gender gap in STEM professions and higher education in South Africa and beyond. The program offers women more opportunities, fostering equitable income generation and cultivating professional environments conducive to their growth.

“Beyond coding and robotics, participants hone critical thinking and problem-solving skills through theoretical teachings and practical applications. Additionally, the program instills values of teamwork, collaboration, and shared responsibility among the learners,” added Naidoo. “We are immensely proud of all the girls who participated in this year’s competition and wish them victory in all their aspirations.”

The winners received tablets, Microsoft training, and gift bags worth R2500, while one fortunate student won a Cannon camera worth R24000 in the lucky draw competition. These rewards enable schools and individuals to explore greater possibilities for long-term educational and career success

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