Scholar Skills Development - ImpaCT

 

 

ImpaCT is an initiative by the JCSE that seeks to stimulate scholars’ interests in the ICT industry and equip them with the necessary information and tools to enter the industry . Our school visits, impact poster , community workshops and Boot-Up ImpaCT  program, facilitate our hopes to positively impact the young South African ICT industry.

The rapid technological development phenomenon brings exciting changes and opportunities to help shape our future world. Concepts that use to only exist in science fiction are slowly becoming an everyday reality. People are employed in jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago and we currently preparing learners for jobs that don’t exist as yet.

The question one might ask is: how do we prepare our learners to thrive in a complex, fast-paced and competitive world. The answer is ImpaCT. A number of jobs of the future are concentrated in the information and communications technology and creative art space. The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering developed the ImpaCT program to encourage students from previously disadvantaged communities around the Johannesburg area to consider a career in the ICT industry.  ImpaCT introduces ICT concepts through fun and creative student projects and challenges.

During the challenges, learners get to work in groups to develop apps, games, programs, websites and other ICT artifacts. They are taught coding skills together with soft- skills and entrepreneurship skills. They are also exposed to the latest technological developments and encouraged to stretch their imagination. 

 The learners are exposed mentors that offer support and advice on how to prepare for university and thrive in the ICT industry. The mentors also advice on access to bursaries and life at varsity. One of our key aims is to promote positive role-modelling , proving to learners that dynamic individuals from similar socio-economic backgrounds are excelling in the ICT industry.

The primary goal of the program is to increase ICT awareness and moving our youth from being mere consumers of technology to producers and contributors to the ICT industry. This is achieved through our projects/challenges, school/community talks and distributing our ICT careers poster.

Since its inception, ImpaCT has impacted over 1000 students from over 40 schools. Approximately 120 have participated in our boot-camps/challenges and they have developed amazing games, websites, designs, and apps. A number of the students that participated in the challenges are currently enrolled in ICT-related degrees because they enjoyed coding so much during the challenges. 

This year the focus of the challenge is game development and custom controller creation with the Games for Good Challenge #GFG.

Almost everyone can think back a to a time where they had so much fun playing a video game whether be it on an arcade game, a console game,  cell phone or online. The combination of the great story, amazing gameplay, the cool graphics/characters and the challenge have an almost hypnotic effect that gets you hooked on the game. It's so easy for one to find themselves immersed in a foreign world for hours on end. Besides being fun and entertaining video games have been proven to help teach problem-solving skills and creativity.

Games can be used for more than just entertainment. Serious games have been developed for industries like defense, education, healthcare, emergency management, city planning, engineering, and politics.  The games normally have a simulation with added educational value, fun, and  competition.

The games for good challenge invites the learners to identify an issue in their society that they would like to tackle.  After the issue has been identified the learner should propose an innovative “serious” game that would help deal with the issue.  Successful participants will be assisted in developing their proposal into a fun game and taught how to create interesting custom controllers that are unique to their game. The winners will get to exhibit the games and controllers at one of the biggest digital innovation festivals and student membership to Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct

 

How it works

  1. Submit an entry -  If you have an innovative idea of how you could deal with some of your communities issues  using a serious game, complete the entry form
  2. Game Creation Workshop and Pitching session - The top 50 entries will be selected and invited to a 3 – day workshop at the Wits University's Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein Johannesburg. At the workshop, entrants will be given additional information about the challenge and technical information will be presented. Part of the workshop will also cover tips on how to refine an idea and prepare for a pitch. At the end of the workshop, each entrant will present a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges. The top 10 ideas will be selected
  3. Development Bootcamp - The entrants will receive intensive game development training and custom controls development training. They will be assigned a mentor and given access to a range of facilities and resources. They will use this time to develop a working prototype of their game and controllers.
  4. Demo day - Each of the Top -10 entrants will demonstrate their prototype and pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Three winners will be selected.

 

Terms and Conditions

  1. The Games For Good Challenge is open to  high school learner from grade 8 to grade 11
  2. Entrants are encouraged to work in small teams of up to 3 members, although individuals will be allowed to enter.
  3. All member of the team must live in the Greater Johannesburg area and must be available to attend all face-to-face sessions as listed under “key dates” below.
  4. The decisions of the judges are final.
  5. Membership of the Tshimologong Precinct is subject to the standard rules of the Precinct. Membership can be terminated if entrants fail to meet agreed progress targets.

Key Dates

20 February 2017

Challenge announced

25 March 2017

Application process closes

28 March 2017

Successful applicants informed

4 -  6 April  2017

Game Creation Workshop and Pitching session

3- 14 July 2017

Development Bootcamp

9 September 2017

Demo Day 
  • Check out our video to find out more about the program .

Application

  •  Applications must be received by: 25 March 2017
  • The 2017 application is available here

For queries contact 011 717 6308 /  xoli@jcse.org.za