STEAM fair to help promote science and technology in schools

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DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry today underscored the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics in the development of the country’s future generation as the 2018 National STEAM Fair opened.

Speaking at the event hosted at the St Joseph High School, the Minister explained that the national fair forms part of the Ministry’s strategy to promote science and technology in school settings.

Minister Nicolette Henry addressing the gathering.

“The movement of STEM to STEAM by adding arts to the technical creativity is the foundation for advancement in all fields… Through such activities, we offer to our students and teachers the opportunity to showcase, disseminate, and share knowledge related to science, arts, and technology.”

The minister further added, “it is indeed through such a platform that educators can bring forward the right kind of ideas and innovations that will provide a boost to this critical sector of our educational system”.

Guyana’s 14th biennial National STEAM fair spotlighted the importance of such a forum to the growing young generation.

Also present were Assistant Chief Education Officers (CEOs), Owen Pollard and June Ann Gonsalves, teachers, and parents along with hundreds of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level students from institutions based in various administrative regions across the country.

The fair saw exhibits and demonstrations from multiple schools across the various administrative regions and Georgetown, STEM Guyana, and the University of Guyana (UG) along with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defense Force (GDF).

The Department of Public Information, (DPI) spoke to various participants about their projects.

Minister Nicolette Henry officially opening the fair.

Student of Annandale Secondary School, Nandanie Achibar explained her school’s Aquaponics exhibit, which is a method that combines growing plants without soil and rearing fish. “The fishes are fed food, in return they excrete ammonia, and in the water, there is a tiny bacterium called Nitrosomonas which converts ammonia to nitrite and another [bacterium] which converts that to nitrate. The water is then pumped into the garden bed and the lettuce plants absorb the nitrate and the water is filtered and it goes back down [to the fish].”

Jonni Walcott, a student of Abram Zuil Secondary School, said his school’s project was about creating a pesticide. “We are making a pesticide by using neem, garlic, and pepper.”

He further explained that “neem was used in the ancient days by the Egyptians as mulch for their crops, and garlic they blend it up and watered their plants with it and local farmers use pepper to get rid of insects and the red bugs in their rice crops.”

Ivana Thompson, student of the University of Guyana, explained the Faculty of Natural Science’s purpose at the fair.

“[When] people think about Natural Sciences they think about Chemistry, Bio, Physics and just think, you know, you can just become a teacher, and we’re here curb that, to show so many different things we can offer, so many career paths.” The UG student disclosed that she’s studying to become a Marine Biologist which is a virtually unheard-of career choice locally and hopes to encourage students attending the fair to explore different choices.

Guyana only recently adopted the Arts into what was previously known as the Science fair and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fair, and the Ministry of Education is currently exploring all options for the development of these areas in schools nationwide.

STEM Guyana’s robot.


By: Nateshia Isaacs