UCT Algorithm Circle awarded Google CS4HS Grant
Google has awarded the UCT Algorithm Circle a Computer Science 4 High School grant to introduce programming to school learners across the country. Pilot courses by a team of 20 volunteers proved highly successful. This grant gives the Algorithm Circle the necessary support to expand the size of the courses as well as to go national, with courses for 250 learners each planned in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg and Durban during 2011. The project has been named Umonya, after the Zulu word for Python, the language used to introduce programming.
Since Python is an easy language to pick up, learners are able to put together useful programs of their own by the end of a weekend. The atmosphere of young, enthusiastic student volunteers showing the kids what they can achieve with programming encourages them and makes many want to take it further. While in the past the Algorithm Circle has held weekly classes for those wanting to learn more, it has a more scalable plan in mind for Umonya.
The next course in Cape Town is planned for 27-29 August 2010, with a course in Stellenbosch possibly to follow shortly after. Learners in grades 7-12 who are new to programming can apply here. Further infortmation on future courses will also be posted there soon.
Umonya looks forward to making great strides in educating the South African youth in programming with the support of Google. If Umonya goes well, they hope to expand to even more locations in 2012.