Pynam Scholars

PYNAM scholars is a subgroup of PYNAM aimed at school learners. It is co-managed by PYNAM and school learners.

Pynam Scholars

What is our aim

Our aim is to spread the knowledge on python programming across the country among school learners of any age.

When did you first engage with scholars?

In 2015, a few months after the initiation of PYNAM, we had several one-day workshops at several schools in efforts to introduce Python to learners, show them small programs created using Python and to share information such as career choices in the computing industry. That was our first encounter with the learners.

Then in 2016, we started the PYNAM scholars group and we trained them in Python. 2016 was the year that PYNAM scholars was created.

Which schools have been involved?

We have worked with Academia Secondary School, Windhoek Technical High School and St. George’s Diocesan College.

What are the big challenges?

The biggest challenge with teaching scholars programming is the lack of computer resources. Most learners don’t have computers and hence when you are going out to them to give workshops, you should have computers. Otherwise, you can’t give them workshops.

If you do manage to give them a workshop in a community computer lab for example, then there is again a another challenge in continuing practicing over time. The learners may not be able to continue practicing programming after the workshop because they do not have the resources and hence, you may lose their interest.

Why should we help grow scholars?

The learners have a better chance of being great developers at a university level and in the future, if they are exposed to what the world of computing has to offer earlier on in their life.

What's the dream and where are we going with this?

We want to have bigger, better and informative conferences for learners and hopefully, also, inspire scholars in other countries to have something similar to this.

We want more schools to be involved. We want to have more scholar societies at more schools throughout Namibia and not just in Windhoek.

We want to run more workshops at schools around Namibia for both learners and teachers. We have already spoken to several schools and we have set up appointments to give these workshops.

We want more learners to be involved in PyCon Namibia. We want more and more of them to give talks and workshops at the conference.

We want to create competitions specifically for learners. And hence, the more learners we train, the more learners we have to take part in these competitions.

How can one get involved in the PYNAM Scholars group?

We accept any type of donations, be it monetary or in a form of travel grants for learners to travel for training or in forms of hardware equipments or such. If you have Python or any other computer related skills and you want to give the learners some form of training, we are open to receiving it. We would love that! (It does not have to be in Python)

Email us at: pynamscholars@gmail.com or call at 081 88 13566 for more information.

Achievements

In 2016, PYNAM scholars took part in the NUST high schools programming competition and they came second after a private school that came first. Taking home silver medals and a feeling of victory! A few months after the competition, they were speakers at a Django workshop organized by PYNAM as well.

Projects done by students or any member of the society

In 2017, PYNAM scholars held their very first conference in April, where they had talks of great diversity, both from themselves as well as from scientist in the industry. The list of speakers featured people such as the Vice Chancellor of NUST, Dr. Tjama Tjivikua.

The scholars were sponsored by PYNAM to attend PyCon Namibia 2017 and they gave lightning talks. Everyone was very proud of them.

The scholars also registered their first group of learners who they are currently training themselves.

For more information on the activities they do, find them on twitter at @pynamscholars.