Bartica teachers, community reps receive STEM training for ‘green’ development

Twelve teachers from Bartica, along with four community stakeholders, participated in a one-day Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Robotics workshop in the MOPT Conference Room. It was aimed at equipping them with technological skills, which, according to the chief course facilitator, will help to provide modern solutions to the challenges of transitioning into a full knowledge-based society.

Five other residents from the Lusignan/Good Hope Learning Centre and The Deaf Association of Guyana also participated in Saturday’s training session, the last in the three-day STEM Guyana initiative to produce 50 STEM Guyana Club Coaches. This was a collaborative effort with the Office of Climate Change (OCC) and the Ministries of Education, Public Telecommunications and the STEM Guyana. The programme was conducted by STEM Guyana Founder, Karen Abrams and her daughter, Ms. Imah Christian.

Noting that robotics itself offers innovative possibilities for developing waste management and energy generation solutions among other things, Project Manager of the Bartica Transitioning to National Energy Security Project, Mr. Gavin Bovell, explained in an invited comment that the OCC is cognisant of the fact that Science and Technology play a critical role in developing solutions to many common issues. Taking this into context, he said that the OCC in June 2017, launched a US$650,000 pilot project for the purpose of establishing a reliable point of reference for the existing state of energy use in Bartica.

Financing was received from the Government of Italy in support of the Model ‘Green’ Town, Bartica Project. The data generated from this project will be used for future measurements and predictions for evidence-based decision-making and pursuance of projects and programmes. One of the components of the five-component project was national sensitisation and awareness. This is the main thrust of the project, in addition to equipping the community’s residents, especially students, with the necessary skills to find viable solutions.

Bartica Transitioning Project Manager, Gavin Bovell
Bartica Transitioning Project Manager, Mr. Gavin Bovell

“For the sensitisation, what we planned to do is to go into schools and have hands-on activities. So we thought it interesting and timely that the STEM Guyana team was here in Guyana already and so we decided to collaborate to sponsor 16 persons to be trained so that they can go back into their communities and schools and train students. We believe that this is important because the kids can come up with the solutions,” he said.

The pilot project, in which this workshop falls, is divided into two phases. In the current 12-month Phase One, energy audits and public awareness campaigns are being conducted, along with the establishment of an Energy Data Management Centre. In Phase Two, the information gathered will be used to scale up the various projects.

Ms. Abrams, in an invited comment, said that STEM Guyana is pleased to participate in the larger and meaningful project. She noted that if Guyana is to fast track its development to compete globally, it is important that citizens be exposed to such programmes that impact the environment, agriculture and health care, among other life issues.

The younger Ms. Abrams added, “We want to prepare and empower citizens to utilise technology to develop dynamic solutions to problems they face within their communities,” listing the ‘judge system’, Scratch programming, animation, and the fundamentals of robotics and programming of robots.

One participant, Mr. Ron Ghanie, a teacher at the Three Miles Secondary School, said, “I hope that when I get back to Bartica, I can inspire my students to partake in the activities we will embark on. This is a really, really great idea”.

Members of the Deaf Association of Guyana were also present
Members of the Deaf Association of Guyana were also present
Ms. Karen Abrams, Founder of STEM Guyana facilitating one of the sessions
Ms. Karen Abrams, Founder of STEM Guyana facilitating one of the sessions








Source: DPI