It’s Wednesday, 2pm sharp in densely populated Ivory Park on the outskirts of Midrand — time for about 60 11-year-olds to duel at their local coding club. Armed with basic coding blocks, inventor kits, laptops and inexhaustible imagination, the six primary school teams compete against each other. The coding club kids use electronic boards to make temporary circuits and prototypes to devise solutions for problems they’ve identified in their community. “We are making an incubator machine that helps children who are born premature and those who are sick,” Sifiso Ngobeni, a pupil at Mikateka Primary School, outside Johannesburg, told AFP. Rival competitors from nearby Sedi-laka primary are tackling the scourge of missing children. “On the news, we always hear about children going missing, so we are making a child-tracking device that can be put into children’s clothes and toys,” says one of the chattering crowd. Coding is the instruction that a robot or computer program reads and then e...

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