Robotschool: Teaching robotics to Namibian kids

Wetumwene Shikage
Bjorn Wiedow has always been interested in design, engineering and the potential of IT and robotics. He chased this dream and is now a co-founder of Robotschool in Windhoek. He teaches coding to young learners and engages with them to educate them on technical development.

He completed his primary and secondary education in Windhoek and then obtained an industrial design degree from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. "I do have to say, I learned a lot while messing around in garages throughout my younger years, just as I did through academic education," he said.

His academic education helped to channel and focus his potential.

Building the future

Robotics and the whole Internet of Things (IoT) were still in their infancy when he dove into the field.

At Robotschool, "we teach kids to code and build robots, machines and harness technology," Wiedow explained.

He said the best thing about his work is never having to do the same thing twice.

"Just last week, I was working out how we could promote Robotschool. We created stickers for my beloved old-timer car, the Morris Minor," he said, to advertise the school.

He said one of the highlights of his job is to see the kids' faces turn from confusion to understanding as they start to code and create something that works.

Tough but worth it

As an entrepreneur, Wiedow said it is not easy to be your own boss, but it is hugely rewarding to know that what you are accomplishing or what you have envisioned has become a reality.

"You need to be resilient, creative, and focused on all aspects of the business. Any one thing that may seem insignificant can trip you up in the long run. Working with learners as young as four all the way up to 15-year-olds creates special challenges and gives me great respect for teachers," he said.

The entrepreneur says starting and refining a new venture allows one to do a little bit of everything, from learning how to do accounting and marketing to creating a new and exciting curriculum. He enjoys developing and testing new ideas for the innovative Robotschool curriculum.