Software Freedom Day 2014 – Tsakane


A bunch of us celebrated Software Freedom Day this year at a very special school, African School For Excellence in Tsakane (near Brakpan).  The day was a tremendous success, with 106 kids attending (on a Saturday!!) our technology roadshow.


The day started at 9.30 with Jay (the school’s founder) introducing us to the learners (a very special experience – all of us got cheers, even the software developers!).


The day started with Jay introducing us and explaining the day to the learners

Then the group was split into three, rotating through two classrooms, each with three tech tutorials.  The group not in either of the classrooms spent some time dreaming and scheming about their upcoming projects and interacting with demos in the tented area.

Class room 1

In room 1, Cable (assisted by Neil) presented electronics for kids and showed off some of his home built bots. Next, Toby was taking the kids through some tools for learning programming. And finally, Raoul brought it together with Arduino.


Class room 2

In room 2, Guy was introducing the learners to InkScape and open clipart. This was followed by Jeandré, who introduced Blender. And, Richard showed how to turn a 3d design into a physical object.  Philip demonstrated some 3d printed objects and the power of combining 3d printing, programming and electronics.

Demos outside

The kids that was waiting for their chance to experience the tutorials, were treated to some demos outside.  This included 3d printing using the RoboBeast, vacuum forming, fpv flying planes, quadcopters, hexcopters, rc cars and Robohands.


After having their brains loaded with lots of new ideas, their stomachs got loaded with some healthy snacks provided by Standard Bank – thanks Philip Snyman!

Making it last

It is phun to have these events, but we aimed to make a lasting difference.  To this end we donated a couple of PC’s loaded with videos, tutorials, software, demo’s etc. and installed it in the library.

University of Johannesburg solar car team sponsored a RepRapPro 3d printer:

And RoboBeast sponsored a Morgan 3d printer:

At the end of the day

Got this nice group photo taken at the end of the day.  We were also thanked personally by (just about each and everyone of ) the students!

Group photo at the end of the day

Group photo at the end of the day


Timelapse of the ASE Roadshow

Philip build and setup up a Raspberry Pi with a Raspberry Pi Camera Module to take a photo every 10 seconds during the event. The product is this time-lapse video of the tented area at ASE and it condenses 4 hours into 1 minute.



Thank you to Standard Bank for donating and Philip Snyman for organising the snack packs.

Thank you to UJ Solar team for donating the RepRapPro 3d printer.

Thank you to RoboBeast for donating the Morgan 3d printer.

Thank you to Arnold and Toby for donating the hardware for the library servers.

Thank you to everybody from House4Hack that planned the event, made the website, prepared and presented tutorials, assisted in the class rooms, prepared demonstrations, made videos, took photos, made time-lapse videos, manned the demo stands, FPV plane flying, FPV quad copter flying, operated the 3d printers, operated the vacuum former, donated hardware, downloaded and configured (free and opensource) software, moved tables around, cable tied table cloths, answered millions of eager questions, loaded and unloaded cars, hearded cats etc. etc.

A special thanks to Beth van As for capturing the day in photos.

The House4Hack team consisted of

  • Cable and Neil Maharaj
  • Toby Kurien
  • Raoul Diffouo
  • Guy van den Berg
  • Jeandré M
  • Richard van As
  • Philip Booysen
  • Beth van As
  • Arnold de Bruin
  • Kobus van der Walt
  • Nico Rautenbach
  • Schalk Heunis

 Thank you from ASE

Received this letter from Jay, head of school:

Hello team,

I would like to extend a heartfelt, if belated, thank you to the House4Hack team for your visit to our school in Tsakane on Saturday, 20 September. It was a day that our staff and scholars will never forget. They were incredibly inspired by the robotics, and began a process of inquiry that we hope will never stop.
Just one week after the event, we entered a few teams in the Lebati Science Fair, and achieved first place and third place! Considering that none of our scholars had ever seen a science fair before, let alone participated in one, and that they were Grade 8’s competing Grade 10 and 11 students, this was an exceptional achievement, and was a direct result of the inspiration from the House4Hack visit.
We are thrilled with the 3D printers that you have left at our school, and we are convinced that they will help take our school to a new level of quality, one that the township has never seen before.
Thanks again, and we would love to have you back any time!
Jay Kloppenberg
Head of School, African School for Excellence Tsakane

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