In 2015, we looked at the poor matric results of the previous year and the high unemployment rates and asked what we could do to solve this crisis.
We started engaging with learners and educators from schools in eThekwini to find a solution. In the early days of our pilot phase we introduced different mediums: stories, science magazines, work books, table top games and mobile games. Portable table-top games were the most popular choice among learners because of its high engagement factor, and unlike mobile games, learners could play it in the school yard.
And so the concept of Mind Blown was born. If young people are excited about playing games then let’s use games to get them excited about learning. After 80 prototypes, extensive research and testing, we discovered that collectible cards featuring mind blowing facts was the ideal catalyst to spark curiosity in learning.
In 2016-2017 we rolled out a pilot to 3000 learners from 50 schools. We also introduced Mind Blown to another 2000 + learners from more than 50 schools at Career Days hosted by the Ethekwini Science Department and Career Days and Market Days hosted by the Nelson Mandela Chatsworth Youth Centre. Mind Blown was part of the CASME Science-To-Go / Mahle Behr / ECR rollout at Ogwini High and Menzi in Umlazi.
Mind Blown Tournaments
As part of our Pilot Project methodology we have had regular tournaments in schools, shopping malls and community centres. Tournaments are a great way to observe the interaction of players from different backgrounds, individual strategies and what moves them.
In December 2016 and 2017 we have held the annual Mind Blown knock out tournament at Sahara Stadium, Durban. The winners and their schools received cash prizes, trophies, medals and vouchers from KZN Science Centre. eThekwini Science Dept. and the KZN Science Centre set up experimentation stalls.
In 2016, 64 participants represented their schools in two categories – Da Vinci’s Kids for the grades 4 and 5 and Tesla’s Tribe for grades 6 and 7. Tharshay Govender from Manor Gardens Primary won the Da Vinci’s Kids Division and the runner- up was from Fairhaven Primary in Chatsworth. Kia Sewbaran from Junagarth Road Primary in Durban South won the Tesla’s Tribe division and David Dingane from Manor Gardens Primary was the runner-up. A special prize was given to Josh Maskell of Durban Preparatory High School for having an amazing arsenal of curious facts. All participants received certificates and hampers from Neotel and Adams Bookshop. The winners and their schools received cash prizes, trophies and medals. KZN Science Centre sponsored vouchers for on-site science demos for 3 schools.
Our sponsors included:
KZN Science Centre
Magic Pan Caterers
eThekwini Science Department
Nelson Mandela Chatsworth Youth Centre