Senator Kay McConney, Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology delivering brief remarks at the closing ceremony of the National Science and Technology Summer Camp.

Building Barbados for the future

Director of the Data Processing Department (Acting), National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), Charles Cyrus, believes that there is significant value Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) has to the development of Barbados and camps such as the Annual Science and Technology Summer Camp aids in the push for STEM.

While speaking at the closing ceremony at St. Stephen’s Primary School, he recounted, “Over the last thirty years or more it has been recognised by a number of international development agencies that the application off STEM is critical to the development of countries and regions. With this in view, these organisations have been encouraging countries across the globe to pay attention to STEM promotion.

However, I am suggesting that for Barbados to benefit form STEM promotion, it must build its STEM capacity at all levels. This National Science and Technology Summer Camp put in place by the NCST is one such programme which seeks to build awareness and understanding by young students of the value of S&T in everyday life.”

He reported, “The Camp is now in its tenth year and this year it catered to an average of 75 campers. The main objective of the camp is to expose primary school aged children to the world of STEM in fun and interested ways. The camp is intended to complement what students will be exposed to in the more formal setting of the classroom, while providing an environment for exploration. I am off the view that we must nurture that natural curiosity that children possess, in ways that enable them to carry it with them throughout their lives. In so doing it would be anticipated that students’ interest in STEM manifested at the primary level will lead to a more focused approach to STEM at the secondary level. The hope is that it will result in greater numbers of students pursuing STEM related disciplines at the University and as career options.”

Senator Kay McConney, Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology urged the parents to help foster their children’s curiosity and not just see it as they are interfering with something. She believes this camp showed students how you connect science with food preparation and how they use maths to build specific projects. The Senator believes this camp is essential to Barbados because we need to push STEM to see this country grow, so we need to sow the seeds and develop these young minds. (NB)

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