The 2015 Prize Winners and Judges
On 30th September 2015, Roedean hosted the fifth IT Showcase. The IT Showcase was originally started by Delia Kench of St Benedict’s College, but the strategic decision was taken to move it to a girls’ school for the next few years, in order to better expose and promote the subject to girls. Matric IT students spend much of the year planning and developing individual IT projects, and the showcase affords the top students an opportunity to demonstrate their PATs, and compete for exciting prizes. This year, we had 24 competitors, from schools from Johannesburg, Boksburg, Pretoria and Nelspruit. Their projects spanned a wide range of interests and life problems, from interactive adventure games, to games that highlight the plight of our rhinos, or aim to teach girls to code, to applications that address real issues in their lives such as peer-mentorship or university applications, or issues wider afield such as medical support systems.
In addition, the Showcase aims to generate excitement about IT as a subject and as a career. Visitors, parents, staff and pupils from schools both near and afar afield as Rustenberg, were able to interact with the competitors and view their projects. Telkom, as well as providing extremely generous sponsorship in the form of prizes and goodie bags for all competitors, set up their Future Crib stand, bringing to life the “Internet of Things”. Similarly, Discover Digital, who sponsored the Special Category prizes and goodie bag inserts,
The projects were judged by five judges from top academic and professional IT institutions. Chief judge Tony Parry is the CEO of the Institute of IT Professionals SA; Dr Mary O. Adedayo is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Pretoria, specialising in Database Forensics; Frans Blauw is a lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, with a focus on authentication management and social networking; Nyaladzi Mpofu is the Academic Developer Advisor for Microsoft SA, and is involved in youth IT programs such as Microsoft Imagine and DreamSpark; and Jacques Naude, a Biomedical and Electrical engineer, is presently lecturing on the software design aspects of Game Design at the University of the Witwatersrand.
We were delighted by the increased number of female competitors in the competition. Two, Michelle Firman from The King's School Robinhills, and Kita von Willich, from Roedean, were among the top 10 finalists. The special category prize for the Most Advanced Code was won by Mthokozisi Sibanda, from St Benedict's College. Best Documentation was won by Maxwell Vos, from Penryn College. Kyle Wood, from St Benedict's College, won the Third prize overall: an XBox One from Telkom. Graeme Harris, also from St Benedict's College, won Second prize overall: an iPad Air plus data from Telkom, as well as the Best Gaming Application Category prize. The Best Real World Application Category prize, and First prize overall: a Telkom modem and data, and a privately donated Apple Mac laptop plus bag and software, was won by Heiko Kabutz, from the Deutsche Schule Pretoria, with his RoBox - Your Robot in a Box application.
Already, we have seen immediate benefits in the increased uptake of IT as a subject at Roedean, and are excited by its introduction at other schools. Technology is without a doubt having a significant impact on the world in which we all live, and IT is a wonderful subject to equip students with both programming and creative thinking and problem solving skills, to enable them to navigate this new landscape. We look forward to seeing the IT Showcase grow in 2016.