TechQuest, Techvolution and the 21st Century Nigerian Kid.
-By Helen Ogbogu | TechQuest Lagos Volunteer
Technology is part of our daily lives and this cannot be denied. From carrying out mobile transactions in the comfort of our homes to marketing our businesses online and to utilizing Google maps in an unknown location. Seeing this and many more, we can say technology is making our work, processes and activities easier and faster.
In this modern age exists young people that are willing to be in the midst of these innovations and advancements; adhering to the area of technology that they find to be most interesting. This can be in Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cybersecurity or Software Engineering. In Nigeria, some initiatives/organizations have taken it upon themselves to offer training, workshops and seminars to individuals to empower them with knowledge and skills, thereby preparing them for the future.
With few of them dedicated to exposing the youngest minds to these, TechQuest is seen to stand out.
Since inception in 2015, TechQuest has proven to truly have a passion for introducing technology to kids. In 2016, TechQuest collaborated with Desmond Elliot; Actor and Lawmaker alongside few sponsors which are RayBros, SDEM Erectors and Crestsage Ltd to train 1000 kids on HTML and scratch for free. Another summer camp took place in 2017 with additional sponsors like Access Bank, Cold stone creamery and BH stripes.
Starting on the 17th of July, 2017, the camp lasted for 2 weeks and during this period, kids were exposed to fundamentals of web design, Animation, robotics and game design. Learning was fun as kids were allowed to have breakout sessions like Ice cream Fridays at Cold stone, Office Kids at Access Bank’s Tech studio, Interactive quizzes by Tutor doctor and Financial Literacy games by Early Savers club.
The year 2018 was more amazing as TechQuest launched the TeachAKid2Code program, which had a goal to train 5000 kids across 7 States in Nigeria with support from Google through the AfricaCodeWeek. Through the project, many tech-savvy youths and teachers had the opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering to train kids through STEM clubs created in several schools across the country.
Volunteers were provided access to training which prepared them for the project. All training sessions for the school kids lasted for 8 weeks (October 15- December 8, 2018). The 2018 Summer camp was not left out as 12 summer camps across Lekki, Ikeja, Ebutte Meta and other locations were coordinated for kids between the ages of 6–16 years.
With a well-designed curriculum and tools like Google CS first, kids were engaged in a 2 week intensive IT training in Animation, robotics, game design, 3D Design, 3D printing and Web design in 3 batches.
Delivering STEM education via free sponsored programs, national stem competitions, weekend clubs and summer camps, they plan to reach a million African kids by 2020 believing that every child should learn how to program a computer.
In all, they find it necessary to join the action in bridging the gap between male and female inclusion and are committed to ensuring a minimum of 30% of their trainees are females.
Writer : Helen Ogbogu | TechQuest Lagos state volunteer.