Change the world


Nelson Mandela University Computing Sciences Associate Professor, Jean Greyling, attended the BUIS Tage conference in Oldenburg, Germany on 24 and 25 May.  He presented a collaborative and exploratory paper on how TANKS and the Artombo art project are able to work together to get children to learn innovatively. A board game called BOATS was rolled out which makes use of Artombo marine artwork to educate players about the detriment of plastic in the ocean, while introducing them to coding. The primary focus of the game is innovative education and social awareness. 

On 2 and 3 June, at the Stoppested Verden youth festival, Prof. Greyling collaborated with Merete Berg (a local “plastics activist”) in getting kids to play with BOATS. After the festival Berg presented a youth camp in Hamar with the theme “Save the world from the plastic monster”. She writes: “We are having fun with a purpose. I used the BOATS game. It worked well”. Berg is continuing to use BOATS in her ongoing youth camps. Some TANKS and BOATS board games were gifted to computer coding clubs in the area.

Between 21 and 23 June Prof. Greyling attended the Innovative and Creative Education and Technology International Conference (ICETIC) in Badajoz, Spain. Here he presented a paper on TANKS as a way to use tangible coding to introduce learners to coding and problem solving. The paper reported on the official roll-out of the game during coding boot camps with RLabs in Bridgetown, Cape Town. International delegates showed interest in the game and took samples with them to share with colleagues and students.       

Overall, Prof. Greyling is pleased with the interest in both TANKS and BOATS and hopes to collaborate with a South African partner to educate children about the dangers of plastic in the ocean and coding simultaneously.

Children from Norway, Japan and Eritrea playing BOATS in Hamar.