Mathematics might not seem like the most essential of life skills when you’re at school (who needs to be able to understand long division when we all have calculators on our smartphones?), but the brain processes that maths develops are crucial to any number of daily tasks. Maths teaches you to follow complex reasoning, to pay attention to detail, to formulate logical arguments – it trains your brain. It also happens to be South Africa’s weakest subject in terms of the marks our learners receive, and at the same time is an essential skill if you want to enter into one of the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide: technology.
Enter the CodeMakers, a non-profit organisation that focuses on teaching computer programming to educators and learners at low-income schools in Umlazi, Durban. Headed up by Justin Yarrow, the CodeMakers’ team consists of an exceptional group of individuals with interests varying from engineering mathematics and molecular biology to youth development. The organisation is also assisted by a number of advisors and volunteers, as well as people who donate old technology to the cause – which the aspiring CodeMakers promptly take apart! By deconstructing old equipment learners come to understand how things operate and are able to start learning how to build technology themselves. It’s an inspiring way of teaching with some fantastic results!
Follow the CodeMakers on Facebook to see some of the creative uses that learners are putting their new found skills to, or visit the CodeMakers website to see how you can help this wonderful organisation that’s striving to make a difference where we need it the most.