TechnoYouth is a three-day workshop aimed at underprivileged learners in grades 8 and 9 from areas in and around Gauteng. The workshop introduces them to technology in an informal, fun and friendly manner. The workshop takes place during the school holidays – four times a year.
Participants are introduced to technology by means of audio-visual presentations, basic hand tools and special constructor kits, and shown how to apply these in a practical way by constructing various technology projects during practical hands-on sessions.
These sessions are interspersed with guided tours through the Johannesburg Observatory and science shows. In addition, participants receive a set of hand-outs in order to reinforce what they have learnt and encourage further interest.
TechnoYouth aims at making participants aware of the different kinds of technology and their impact on our daily lives. The objective is to introduce technology to those youth who may otherwise not be exposed to modern technology at an early age in their lives. A secondary objective is to make them aware of the stimulating and rewarding career opportunities that will exist for them later on if they opt for science and technology subjects at school.
The workshops strive to identify latent talent or interest in science, engineering and technology disciplines. At the end of every three-day session, a task is given to four learners who showed talent and interest. They have to complete this within a specified time and are then invited to compete with learners from other schools for prizes.
Due to the success of this project, SAASTA decided to expand it to other science centres which include:
- Penreach in Mpumalanga
- Mothibistad Science Centre in the Northern Cape
- North West University (Mafikeng Campus) in the North West
- IsibusisoEsihle in KwaZulu-Natal
- Anglo American Science Centre in Mpumalanga.