French schools at Springbot 2013 tournament
Students from French schools rise to the challenge at the Springbot 2013 tournament
From the 8th to the 12th of April 2013, more than 300 students from various French schools in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean region gathered for a (large) robotics competition organized by the Lycée Jules Verne in Johannesburg and Pretoria. During the “SPRINGBOT 2013” tournament , our engineers in the making competed by pitting autonomous robots against each other in tests of speed, agility, strategy, and even choreography.
Schools from the Agency for French Teaching Abroad (AEFE) in Mozambique, Angola, Mauritius, Kenya, Zimbabwe as well as the Lycée Jules Verne and the École François Valliant in Cape Town participated in the competition. Students took part in the “Rhino” challenge, at the Sci-Bono Science Museum in Johannesburg, where the event was held on the 12th of April 2013. During her speech, the French Ambassador, Mrs. Elisabeth Barbier emphasized the importance of the educational component/aspect of French diplomacy, key element for the support of the French community, promoting French speaking countries (Francophonie) as well as cooperation in the field of education.
In South Africa, science education and the popularization of science are a priority for bilateral cooperation. Several science exhibitions are presented on a regular basis to the South African youth like the exhibition on Chemistry, a flagship project of the 2012 French season in South Africa which can be seen at the Sci-Bono in Johannesburg. On a larger scale the “main à la pâte” method of teaching science initially designed by French physicists Georges Charpak, Pierre Léna and Yves Quéré is now being implemented in ten pilot schools in Pretoria*. South Africa joins some fifty countries around the world where this teaching method is being implemented with great success.