Enrichment Programme (EA)
The ASSET Enrichment Programme (EA) is a method used for enhancing activities that our learners and teachers are engaged with both inside and outside of the classroom. It creates awareness and curiosity for learners while it introduces creativity, inspired teaching and learner connection for teachers. This allows a teacher to be a recipient of a ‘live and vibrant’ classroom atmosphere as learner participation and engagement is encouraged which differs from the accustomed to traditional teacher ‘talk-down’ approach.
The Enrichment Activities are designed to motivate and inspire learners making them more recipient to competitive, active and lifelong learning. Learners are encouraged to participate in intellect performance enhancing events and activities that groom, grow their thinking and awareness of the world around them while equipping them with interpersonal and life skills that develop them into 21st century thinkers and performers. This is truly relevant in this era of artificial intelligence and the 4th Industrial Revolution as the world of work keeps on evolving. The learners therefore get an opportunity to be better equipped to make informed decisions and find their niche in this space as they are encouraged to follow their passions, develop new interests, build new skills which will help them in their academic and future professional careers.
Even though the EA are fun, interactive structured programmes that give learners an opportunity to explore new things and develop interests outside of the normal school curriculum learning, the ultimate is that they give learners an opportunity to compete with peers outside of their normal day to day environment and build up their confidence. Activities range from variety of events like clubs (e.g. math, science, and robotics); hands-on science experiments; excursions; camps; projects and more!
Commitment from the learners is key as EA take place as extra-curricular activities but their hands-on based approach is an amazingly effective way to ‘spice up’ the learning and that captures their interest. They are loving it!
2019 Enrichment Activities
1. The Fourth Industrial Revolution Expo at the Parliament of South Africa
On the 14th of February 2019, 20 learners from our partner schools were invited to attend an expo showcasing South Africa’s readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) in Parliament. The exhibition, an initiative of the Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (DST) featured amongst other exhibitions of projects such as the wheat breeding project based at the University of Stellenbosch; 3-D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence and big data.
2. South African Mathematics Olympiads (SAMO)
ASSET entered 136 learners from grades 8 – 12 to participate in the South African Mathematics Olympiad – one of the biggest Mathematics Olympiad in the country. The competition reinforces the classroom curriculum and problem-solving skills. What an amazing exposure and experience gathered by the group!
3. UCT Mathematics Competition
On the 25th of April 2019, 48 grades 8-12 learners from our partner schools were invited to participate in the competition which was held at the University of Cape Town. The UCT Mathematics Competition is an annual event for high schools in the Western Cape.
4. World Robotics Olympiad
The World Robotics Olympiad is a global robotics completion which uses Lego Mindstorms to solve a set of missions. On the 03rd of August 2019, six learners (forming a group of 3 teams) were introduced to robotics for the first time and they were ‘hooked’ on realizing their potential when it came to programming.
5. First Lego League (FLL)
FLL is a robotics competition designed for learners aged 9-16 to learn how to apply Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts to solve a real-life problem by enhancing their creative abilities. Four teams of six learners participated in the provincial competition on the 26th of October 2019 and did very well. 2 teams won trophies and one was invited to compete at the national tournament in Johannesburg. The team brought home an ‘Alliance’ trophy after intense competitive rounds with other teams in the Alliance robot game challenge.
6. Women in ICT
This was a rare opportunity for 270 girl learners in the grades 8-12, to attend an Information and Communications Technology Expo held at the University of Cape Town. The learners mingled with women scientists who ran role modeling sessions and also participated in artificial intelligence, coding and robotics workshops.
7. NRF| iThemba LABS Open Day
60 grade 10 learners were given an opportunity to tour the iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) facility and were exposed to the work this wonderful facility does.
8. Grade 11 girls camp on Artificial Intelligence
On the 2-5 July 2019, ASSET in partnership with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and Square Kilometer Array (SKA) invited a group of 50 grade 11 girls to an Artificial Intelligence camp which took place at the SanParks West Coast National Park. Along with the curriculum support programme at the West Coast Fossil Park, a guided tour through the National Park up to the sand dunes, the girls were role modeled in development as young women and what future careers look like.
9. Grade 10 & 11 Winter Camp
The Maths and Science camp for grades 10 & 11 took place at the Bridges Retreat Conference Facility in Franschhoek from the 21 -24 June 2019. The camp which was attended by 125 learners from our partner schools concentrated on personal development, careers of the future skills enhancing activities and presentations such as 4IR sessions, introduction to nanotechnology, astronomy and winter solstice, theatre and arts, role modeling and key mathematics concepts. To top it all, the learners were skilled in various creative areas of the Arts (both in front and behind the camera) and ended by acting in their own created drama plays where they were trained and guided by four post graduate drama students that were visiting from the London Royal Performing Arts Society.
10. Grade 9 Spring Camp
During the September school holidays, 180 grade 9s visited the Cape Town Science Center. The programme which ran for over 3 days entailed a variety of STEM activities from the science shows to building telescopes and launching rockets. The learners also visited the heart museum for the first time.
11. Grade 12 Mentorship Programme
A group of 15 grade 12 learners voluntarily joined the mentees programme. The programme which focused on ‘leadership’ was facilitated by two ASSET alumni. The learners were given motivational talks, personal development assignments and self-empowering material for reading.
12. Teacher Empowerment workshops
Teachers from the Western Cape Education Department’s Metro East and North districts were recipients of curriculum support workshops that were held over two Saturdays in October. On arrival they received resources that they would take away with for their schools and start-up their classroom enhancing teaching but were workshopped on a hands-on session on how to use them first. Grade 6 and 7 teachers were given this space to use as a safe haven for sharing of best practices and learning from peers. The two districts had 120 teachers from 70 schools in total attending.
Some great feedback was received at the end.