Out-of-School Youths Identified for STEM & Robotics Training in the Regions

A cadre of local Youth Volunteers residing in communities in Regions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 will serve as Resource persons for the series of STEM and Robotics training programmes scheduled to begin in December. The participants will be young people who are out of school and as yet unattached. They will begin by learning the rudiments of STEM (Science, Technology and Mathematics initially) along with Robotics and Coding/computer programming.

This ground-breaking programme is an initiative of the Department of Culture, Youth and Sport, and the ultimate objective is to equip more young people with marketable skills that will render them employable. In the longer term, the broader view sees them teaching the Robotics and STEM skills they learn to other students.

The Department of Culture is collaborating with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, and STEMGuyana which is a non-governmental organization focused on teaching Robotics to Guyanese students. The main organizers met last Thursday November 22 to refine the training programme and its logistics which include identifying the Regional ICT hubs that will be used as training venues, and the schedule for meeting with the Regional Community Development Officers. The latter, who are all attached to the NDMA/MOPT, will be required to manage the programme’s logistics in their respective regions, which include ensuring that the training modules are loaded onto the computers in the ICT hubs, and transporting participants to the training venues.

STEMGuyana has drafted the training curriculum that is hinged on computer Coding, Scratch Programming, building and programming robots, and Mathematics using the NGSA syllabus. This is also the beginning of what the organizers hope will become a series of training interventions leading to entering highly skilled Guyanese teams into the annual International Robotics Olympics.

Scratch is a programming language and online community where Technology students receive assistance to create their own interactive stories, games and animations.

The organizers expect the participants and facilitators to later establish Tech(nology) Clubs for Primary, Secondary and Adult students in their communities. In February this year, STEMGuyana had trained and certified approximately 50 youth leaders and teachers and encouraged them to start Technology Clubs in their communities.

That STEM certification programme was the beginning of many outreaches that STEMGuyana has conducted in Guyana through various Ministries and the office of the First Lady, Ms. Sandra Granger. STEMGuyana is led by Mr. Leon Caleb Christian, Ms. Karen Abrams, a Start-up Inclusion Consultant, and Ms. Ima Christian.