GE (NYSE: GE), the world’s premier digital industrial company has announced the launch of a skills development program for high school students in South Africa. 600 students across 30 schools in 5 provinces will receive robotics training through a tailor-made e-learning course titled Intro to Mechatronics (i2M), powered by GE Africa.

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The robotics training course includes a physical robotics training kit made with advanced technology, designed by mechanical, electronic and software engineers. The robotics training kit, which will be distributed to all students from the competing schools at the start of the program, was created to train the students on the fundamentals of constructing their own rover- fabricating, assembling and programming the unit.

Participants in the robotics training program will be asked to upload a video of their fully assembled and movable rover to a website. Judges from GE Africa and its partners will shortlist entries to the best 30 based on creativity, rover movability and unique interpretation and implementation of recyclable materials. These top 30 participants will be invited to a one-day classroom training on mechatronics and 3D printing to help advance their rover designs even further.

There will be a grand finale event held in the first week of October where the top 30 students get a chance to present their rovers to an esteemed panel of judges from GE Africa and its partners. Students who emerge as top 3 will win cool gadgets that will nurture their interest in STEM.

Speaking about GE Africa’s involvement in the robotics training program, Patricia Obozuwa, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, GE Africa said

We are delighted to launch this training program with our partner Digicate, in South Africa. This initiative is in line with our commitment to skills development in Africa and we hope that by empowering these young students with valuable skills, we are able to help shape them into well-rounded individuals who will someday invent things that can change the African continent for good.

GE has created several skills development programs across Africa, including Garages, an advanced manufacturing training program which is currently running in Lagos, Nigeria soon to be launched in other countries.

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