Ministry of Education launches high-tech summer camp

Young participants will learn the basics of coding, among other things (Photo courtesy Quora)
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By Carlena Knight

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More than 200 students from the primary school to tertiary level will take part in a summer camp put on by the Ministry of Education and the University of West Indies Five Islands.

The camp will focus on six core areas – fundamentals of drones and drone technology, robotics, augmented reality, e-sports, photography and graphic design, and mobile app and web development – all of which are linked to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as STEM subjects.

The four-week event was launched on Friday with top education officials in attendance.

Education Minister Daryll Matthew welcomed the programme and shared his hope that it will be rolled out across the nation’s schools.

“It is expected to be an annual event growing in leaps and bounds every year,” Matthew said.

“There are some countries where these STEM fairs are a major part of the educational offering of the country and we see no reason why Antigua and Barbuda, which is perfectly positioned in the Caribbean, having a university campus with a School of Computing and Artificial Intelligence, having an institution such as ABIIT on our shores, having access to fibre-to-the-home fast internet to each and every household, there is no reason why this ought not to be the next logical step in the offering of the Ministry of Education and Sports to our people of Antigua and Barbuda, giving our young people in particular the opportunity to really learn everything the worlds holds for them where technology is concerned,” Matthew added.

Director of Education Clare Browne spoke of the advantages the camp presents to local youngsters.

“STEM education, STEM skills, now and in the very near future, will be in every, every field of endeavour if they are not already there and if these skills and knowledge are not already a required field of endeavour.

“The word out there is that 75 percent of the jobs that children and young people will have in the future will be connected to the STEM field and so it is important for a Ministry of Education and Sports to ensure that we prepare our young people for jobs that are not even invented yet, for opportunities that are not yet in place and in play,” Browne explained.

“This STEM fair is designed to stimulate that kind of interest in those areas, those skills that are going to be required,” Browne added.

The free camp will run from July 18-29. It will break for Carnival and return from August 8-19.

It will be broken up into three age groups: children aged four to 11, youngsters aged 12 to 17 years, and tertiary level students over 17.

The camp will have both a virtual and hands-on approach. Students engaged at the UWI Five Islands campus will learn the basics of computer assembly, coding, drones’ programmes and graphic design, with some having the opportunity to earn an IBM certification.

Registration is now closed.

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