The Airbus Foundation, together with its partners – The Little Engineer and Dare to Dream – has launched the Airbus Little Engineer robotics programme in Botswana. The goal of the initiative is to encourage learners to understand and embrace technology, and ignite passion that could grow into an exciting career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
During its first year, the programme aims to reach at least 1,080 ten to sixteen year olds from urban and rural areas across the southern African country.
Botswana-based Dare to Dream, organisation has become synonymous with advancement of women and girls in STEM, aviation and aerospace business leadership skills. The organisation was founded by Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, Botswana Defence Force’s first woman pilot. Captain Kgomotso uses the power of flight to ignite dreams and help other young women to follow in her footsteps.
Captain Kgomoto Phatisma, says: “The inherent and extensive nature of science, innovation, engineering and aerospace technology offers boundless possibilities and opportunities for Botswana and its socio-economic development. They are essential to the realisation of Botswana Vision 2036 of achieving a knowledge based economy, the African Union Agenda 2063 of ‘The Africa We Want’ and the UN sustainable development goals.”
The Airbus Little Engineer programme, which is for girls and boys, began with two days seminars for Dare to Dream’s trainers, familiarizing them with the Airbus Little Engineer programme. These were followed by a workshop at the Botswana Innovaion Hub, involving 30 learners from Gaborone, Ramotswa and Bobirwa.
During this workshop the 30 learners were introduced to the exciting world of aviation, robotics and coding. The students were tasked to assemble an aircraft model, program it with their own algorithm so it is able to manoeuvre on the tarmac, ready for take-off.