Advantages of STEAM highlighted at the opening of Region 9 Science Fair
The Department of Education Region 9 opened its Biennial Regional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) this morning at the Arapaima Primary School in Lethem.
The theme for the 2018 STEAM fairs is ” Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, paving the way for a green and sustainable society”.
The purpose of these fairs is to allow students an opportunity to display innovative and creative projects produced by them to solve problems within their community or school environment.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Selwyn Griffith, District Education Officer said that it is the first time that nursery schools are being allowed to participate in the fair. This adds to the historical importance of this year’s fair since it is the first time that the Arts has been included.
Similar to the other regional fairs being held around Guyana, the Sunni g projects will be adjudged and improved before being put on display at the National STEAM Fair.
Regional Education Officer (ag), Ms. Kateri Joseph during her remarks said that science fairs provide the opportunity and space for students to experiment with science, systematic procedures and rules and applying same to arrive at a solution.
Based on the theme, Ms. Joseph charged the students to ask themselves what a green economy means and where it will take Guyana.
She highlighted a number of issues such as global warming and the shortage of food as some issues which need to be addressed. As such, students are encouraged to think of ways by which these problems can be solved or to mitigate their effects.
“The science fair is an opportunity to look at solutions to solve issues within our communities and schools. How can we promote greener societies inclusive of helping people change their behaviors.”
She said that the STEAM Fairs are taking learning to another level through inquiry and experimenting.
She stressed on the students that their participation at the regional level is much more than securing a spot to compete in Georgetown.
She added that learning is not confined to the classroom but through these activities l, each child can have an opportunity to take what obtains in the classroom and apply it to everyday life.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson commended the organisers for exhibiting vision and forward thinking by having the nursery school students be a part of the event.
“We must never be afraid to have our children be exposed to education at a younger age.”
According to the CEO, this event has benefited students, teachers, and entrepreneurs over the years tremendously.
He said that the intention of these exhibitions of talent and innovation has always been to stimulate the young minds to analyse, synthesize, stimulate and evaluate situations with the aim of improving their lives and the lives of citizens while exposing students to critical thinking skills.
Mr. Hutson said that participation has always been encouraged from all four levels of the formal education system and provision has been made for out of school participation.
In future, the CEO charged the regional officials to utilise an elaborate planning exercise so that schools regardless of wherever they are located can still be able to participate in the activity.
Further, he said that STEAM requires a different approach.
“We have to move beyond “chalk and talk” and try to make use of technology and the environment to improve the education sector. Mastering STEAM is important to problem-solving. At these fairs, students have an opportunity to improve research techniques and skills.”
The participating schools are St. Ignatius Secondary School, Aishalton Secondary School, Parikwarnaua Primary School, Aishalton Primary School, Arapaima Primary School, Arapaima Nursery School and Parishara Nursery School.