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Overwhelming turnout at STEM summer programme

Overwhelming turnout at STEM summer programme


Director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) summer programme Petrus Gumbs is overwhelmed by the response to this year’s programme.

During his address at the launch at the St Martin’s Secondary School last Friday, Gumbs said it was refreshing to meet teachers {{more}}and persons who are like-minded and are able to work on the same page and at the same level.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed to see the amount of persons turned out this afternoon; for the past three years, it hasn’t been like this; it has been a little project in a way at St Martin’s Secondary, but it seems like it’s getting out there,” he said.

This year, 140 students registered for the one-month programme that is designed not only to assist students in their core curricular subject areas, but also to expose them to other areas of study. Its courses range from English through website design and robotics.

According to Gumbs, even though the programme is known for its practicality and a heavy use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), in the past, classes were not well equipped for ICT work.

However, this year, the programme has been equipped with multimedia carts that could be wheeled to the classrooms, completely ready for teachers to use their laptops and present information.

Additionally, two classes have been equipped with their own projectors and stationary carts.

“We make it safe and simple to conduct your class in a manner where even the auditory learner, the visual learner, no matter what kind of learner they are, we are able to cater to them in a STEM class.”

As part of the secondary programme this year, students will visit the Richmond Vale Academy for one day to interact with the scientists there. This aspect of the programme was implemented after Gumbs ventured to the Academy earlier this year and discovered the work done there by scientists from all over the world.

“I think this is a worthwhile venture and I made it my business this year to get our kids involved in such things,” he said.

As part of primary programme, parents would be joining classes for one week to sit with their children to learn more about computer programming.

Gumbs said parents have been included this year to help them understand what their children are doing, so that they could start encouraging them.

Speaking at the launch, representative of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Nicole Su noted that many scientists started at a young age.

Su said that the Taiwanese government puts a lot of emphasis on information technology and science education, noting that it has been a good partner with SVG in the development of science, education and development.

She added that the Embassy is a close partner with the Ministry of Information Technology and has worked together to establish an e-centre.

Su encouraged the students to try their best to work with their teachers and fellow students.

Also speaking at the launch, CARCIP representative Roxanne John noted that in March of this year, the Government signed an agreement with STEM to provide computers and equipment, such as physics and chemistry kits in the amount of EC$80,000.

John said the programme aims to create interest and excitement in children and parents and encouraged the children to take advantage of the opportunity and to make use of the equipment introduced.

“We have seen that they are the creative minds… and we are exposing them at this time to bring out the creativity in them; it’s an opportunity for them,” she added.(AS)