By: Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU- The local Girls Coding Academy has ruled the roost at the recently held First Tech Challenge Robotics Competition Johannesburg, South Africa (SA).

First Tech Challenge robotics  competitions had attracted participants from the region including Lesotho, SA, Eswatini, Botswana and Zambia.

The competition was organized by First Lego League,   an institution that introduces younger students to real-world engineering challenges through construction of LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.

“First LEGO League Challenges teams, guided by their imaginations and adult coaches,  discover exciting career possibilities and, through the process, learn to make positive contributions to society. “

Also, teams from different SA provinces took part in the competition.

The teams were to design, build and code robots during the competition. These robots are built from a reputable materials and are powered by technology to recieve and act on instruction of the users.

Founder and CEO of the Girls Coding Academy ‘Maneo Mapharisa said they won the first prize as alliance team.

Asked what this feat mean for them, she said: “It’s an amazing progress for Basotho if they are able to win in the Southern African Development Community region”.

Mapharisa said they will now also be able to host international competition in Lesotho where they can invite contestants from other countries.

She said come March 23, they will host their first match in Thaba-Bosiu where they will capacitate teachers on issues pertaining to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) issues.

The training will also focus on students to where they will inspire their curiosity and ignite their passion to become problem-solvers as well as creating real-world applications for solutions.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) STEM is critical in building a knowledge based society.

Today, digital solutions are reportedly vital across the board in all spheres of life  owing to the rapid pace of technological advances and innovations.

Exposing students to technology and digital tools is said to help them to acquire digital skills necessary for them to contribute to a better future where digitization is the order of the day.