Fab Lab to bring science, technology closer to youth

Pretoria – The City of Tshwane and the Innovation Hub have partnered to launch initiatives which will bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics closer to the youth, especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

The youth initiatives are aimed at addressing the shortage of skills in the city and the inaccessibility to facilities that allow youth to engage and explore.

These youth initiatives offer a practical solution, as entrepreneurial mentorship and workshops are offered, to guide them on the process of commercialising an innovation.

A Fab Lab, which is an abbreviation for fabrication laboratory, is a miniature factory for digital fabrication where prototypes can be created and will be launched on Monday.

The Fab Lab will be strategically located at The Innovation Hub as it is the first accredited science and technology park in Africa.  

Kusile Mobile Science Labs will be distributed at various local disadvantaged schools throughout the week from 23 June.

The mobile science labs, which were designed and manufactured by local entrepreneurs from Kusile Labs & Technology, are a cost-effective solution to the inadequate science laboratories available in primary and secondary schools.

eKasi Labs will be launched on Friday at the GaRankuwa Arts & Crafts Centre. This is an area that can be easily accessed by the broader community where young people will create tangible solutions that address their community’s problems.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the city was progressive and working towards igniting excellence.

“We owe it to the youth of 1976 to initiate programs that would liberate today’s youth from socio-economic segregation. I am glad that the introduction of the FabLab and eKasi Labs will be the entry point into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, mathematics and science” said Mayor Ramokgopa.

McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub , said one of the challenges faced by young people and budding entrepreneurs wanting to utilise facilities and services available at The Innovation Hub is access to services as it is located in an area that is relatively inaccessible owing to the distance travelled as well as cost of transportation. 

“This partnership was conceptualised from a strategic decision to take innovation to the people by establishing co-creation spaces that will foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities that better the lives of the community and create wealth”.

For more information visit www.theinnovationhub.com.

This comes as South Africa commemorates Youth Month. The 2014 Youth Month programme will facilitate conversations with the youth on the achievements and progress made in youth development over the past 20 years as well as the challenges that still exist. – SAnews.gov.za