First Lady opens first STEM Guyana Robotics Workshop in Linden
Georgetown, Guyana – (March 27, 2018) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, yesterday, made good on a promise that she made, last year, to students of the Harmony Secondary School in Wismar, Linden, to introduce the first Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Guyana Robotics Workshop in Upper Demerara-Berbice (Region Ten) at their school. Thirty-two students are participating in the four-day programme, which aims to spark their creativity and to introduce them to a new way of using modern technology. The workshop is being hosted in collaboration with STEM Guyana’s co-founder, Ms. Karen Abrams and Team Guyana, which includes two past graduates of the first and second STEM workshops held here.
Delivering her address to the students, the First Lady said that the STEM workshops have had tremendous success across the country. She urged the students to embrace the opportunity to learn as it may inspire their future career choices. “Anything that your imagination can conceive, you can make it with a robot and you can programme it because apart from what you are doing now in school this is where the jobs will be… You are the first school to be having a Robotics camp in Linden and I hope you will set up, with your teachers’ assistance, your own robotics club, so that you could begin competing nationally,” Mrs. Granger said.
The First Lady also said that consideration is being given to a written request from Head of the Science Department and Integrated Science Teacher, Ms. Abigail Samuels, for some much-needed equipment to aid the learning process. Mrs. Granger said that the school will be receiving some happy news, in relation to this request, very soon.
Meanwhile, in her charge to the students, Ms. Karen Abrams told the participants that while they often use programmes like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other social media platforms, they too can create similar applications. “What we are trying to do, in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady, is to allow you to prepare for the next generation of developments all over the world that will require knowledge of technology,” she said.
Ms. Samuels said that she is grateful that the programme is being introduced in her school. “From this experience, our students will be able to develop an appreciation for areas in Science, not only Science specifically, but the Engineering and Mathematics as well,” she said. In an invited comment, 16-year-old Third Form student, Master Clairmont Skeete, said that although he does not know much about robotics, he was excited to be participating in the workshop. ”It would be something good coming to the school because it will allow the children to learn and to build different things,” he said.
Director of STEM Guyana, Mr. Colin Sawh, Member of Parliament, Mr. Jermaine Figueira and executive members of the school’s Parent Teachers body also attended the opening. The STEM Guyana Robotics Camp founded by the Abrams family was introduced to Guyana in 2006. The hosting of the workshops is made possible by donations from several groups and businesses locally and in Canada and the United States. Since the programme’s introduction, STEM Guyana has launched the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) App and took a team to the first Global Robotics Olympics where they placed tenth after six rounds.