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Auckland Park Preparatory Schools launches inaugural Innovation Fair

This story is sponsored

Auckland Park Preparatory School (APPS) is a private girls’ school in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, approaching its centenary this October. As part of the centenary celebrations, and to acknowledge the school’s heritage and success the school is launching its inaugural Innovation Fair, which takes place on 2 October 2021.

The Fair aims to encourage innovation in all areas of life to stimulate and inspire young minds to foster and develop problem solving skills, critical thinking capabilities and creativity. 

Rachel Moultrie, Grade 6, investigated how CO2 levels in classrooms impact the spread of Covid-19

“APPS is a school that embraces change, strives for independent thinking and delivers well-rounded, talented girls. We put a lot of thought into how we should pay tribute to and celebrate our school’s heritage and success over the past 100 years,” says Brenda Howden, headmistress, APPS.

“We wanted to acknowledge and embrace the hard work and dedication the school has put into advancing its science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) offering for the school to remain a leading, relevant, forward-thinking educational establishment for the next 100 years. With that in mind, the Innovation Fair was born,” she says. 

The fair will see a wide range of topics being covered, including technology innovation, science innovation, engineering innovation, business innovation and innovations across diverse industries and applications.  Innovation in applications include climate control, alternative power provision, environmental sustainability, agriculture and art.  

Lilitha Masinda, Grade 6, presenting her Science Expo project on instant gratification

While showcasing how APPS is leading and progressing STEAM Education at the junior level and with young girls, the school will also use this as an opportunity to celebrate access to STEAM education with various corporates and its outreach school, Salvazioane.  

Participating corporates including IBM, Microsoft, Synthesis and Minecraft will showcase various products and solutions including interactive demonstrations and displays. 

The Innovation Fair will host distinguished science and innovation keynote speakers, whose talks will be relevant to 8-13 year olds and their parents.

Grade 7s creating videos explaining AI and how it’s used for age recognition

Speakers include:

  • Dr Yaseera Ismail, talking on Quantum Computing for children;
  • Synthesis’s Luke Machowski, who will delve into the topic “Robots of Robots”;
  • Microsoft’s Stephen Reid, addressing the Possibilities of Learning;
  • South African Covid-19 experts, including leading doctors in the field and Mia Malan from Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism, addressing families’ questions regarding the pandemic; 
  • Dr Jennifer Fitchett from Wits, who will speak on global warming; and
  • Dr Benjamin Rossman will discuss how to prepare society for an AI-infused future.

IBM will also be offering its virtual Saturday Family Science workshops for free, starting on 25 September and ending on 30 October 2021. These workshops will feature IBM Research Africa’s scientists and engineers, together with their counterparts based at the IBM Thomas J Watson Research Centre in New York. IBM scientists will be onsite at the Fair to support two virtual workshops.

Lucy Blades and Georgia van der Walt (Grade 6) exploring green alternatives to power

The Fair will be complemented by a series of demonstrations, including one by the University of Johannesburg’s Robotic dog. Children will be able to fly drones using virtual reality, assisted by Wits students.

Aimed at the whole family, the Fair will also feature a fun gaming area and food stalls. Proceeds from the Fair will be used to support the development of an innovation trust that will be used to keep the school at the forefront of innovation, and to empower APPS’s outreach school Salvazione to inspire its learners towards a culture of innovation.

For more information and for bookings for the Fair, please go to

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