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Internet of Things Makerspaces

Project Organizer:
Solomon Kembo, Zimbabwe Chapter

Start date: November 2015

Most Zimbabwean schools are operating on shoe-string budgets as budgetary support from government is limited and students barely afford to pay fees. As such access to modern ways and tools of learning, such internet and IoT toolkits is a pipe dream.

The project will establish Internet of Things (IoT) Makerspaces, at selected Zimbabwean schools, to inspire and equip local students with IoT skills and resources, enabling them to develop problem-solving IoT projects in their communities.

The pilot started at St Peter’s Mbare High School in a suburb of Harare, attended by 20 enthusiastic pupils aged between 12 and 18, who proudly refer to the Makerspace as “The Freedom Makers”. The training will last 9 months with frequency of 2 days a week.

First year program is based on Genuino/Arduino systems due to their low power requirements and flexibility. The Do-It-Yourself nature of the project enables them to develop real things (making an interacting traffic light, creating an Alarm System, controlling LEDs with a remote control…) and see the fun side of learning.

Projects benefits
  • Provide Alternative Career Paths to Academically Challenged Students
    Vocational subjects such as wood work and metal work have proved, in the past, to be successful with students that are not academically gifted. Likewise the hands-on nature of IoT offers an alternative avenue of expression for academically challenged students.
  • Interesting IoT Applications to stimulate creative thinking
    The students will have their minds opened up to a whole new world of possibilities by exposing them to IoT applications undertaken by their peers. They will have a chance to develop similar projects in the process stimulating their own creativity and problem solving capability.
  • Engaging young students
    Most youths in the targeted areas are disillusioned by the current state of the economy and engage in unhealthy habits that include alcohol and drug abuse. Engaging them in interesting Internet projects will take their minds off some of these unhealthy habits.
Hear from their voices

Project Status:
In progress

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