By Carlena Knight
Students aged 13-17 are being encouraged to get onboard with a new e-sports programme being spearheaded by the Silicon Dadli group and several other partners.
The American Corner Antigua, located in the Public Library of Antigua and Barbuda, along with the US Embassy in Barbados and other partners have embarked on a pilot project which is open to all Antiguan and Barbudan students who are within that age group.
The programme aims to not only help participants to explore emerging technologies, but will also help instill values in leadership, business, cooperation, trust and shared decision-making through e-sports.
The Silicon Dadli group, which started in 2018, is the first of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean and is geared towards making STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) not only more attractive to youth in Antigua and Barbuda, but also to equip them with the skills needed to work in these fields, since careers in these areas have increased around the world in recent times.
“Basically, we wanted to help our young people to be more successful in both their personal and professional life and so through e-sports they basically get to form teams, form a community, compete against each other not only against young people here in Antigua and Barbuda but also internationally,” said Elijah James of Silicon Dadli.
“Because this initiative is being supported by the US Embassy in Bridgetown, which through its various programmes try to connect entities in the US with those in the Caribbean, we’re working with the North American Scholastics Esports Federation which has a massive online following, so through e-sports gaming, our young people would not only be able to learn, but they also have an opportunity to access scholarships, learn about different careers that are available within e-sports and the technology centre and most importantly build upon their own personal development,” he explained.
An evaluation of all applications and a shortlist of successful students that will be provided with training for the pilot project will be announced.
This initiative is just one of the many programmes Silicon Dadli is offering to students.
There is also the Team Dadlibots programme where students learn about robotics and compete against other countries, and the most recent Cyber Security initiative ‘AntiguaRecon’ which is a partnership with Island Academy.
AntiguaRecon is a cyber-security training programme offered at the school to help students gain their Junior Pentesting Certificate from Hack the Box (HTB), a massive online platform for learning ethical hacking skills through gamified hands-on training modules.
The HTB training usually costs thousands of US dollars, but Island Academy is sponsoring the training to help create career opportunities for local youngsters.
It runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3.30pm-5.30pm, and on the second Saturday each month from 9am-12pm.
Interested persons can sign up at www.surgemetrix.com/antiguarecon or call 764-8362.