Science Education Officer Amaala Muhammad has welcomed an initiative that will deepen students’ interest in Science, Technology Engineering and Math.
Muhammad was speaking last Friday at a Workshop dubbed ‘Sagicor Visionaries Challenge’.
She commended Sagicor, a Barbados headquartered company offering a range of financial services including insurance, for their involvement in an exercise which is aimed at improving the performances of students, and contended that the programme “will go a long way in developing a culture of research and innovation which is sadly lacking, not only in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but the Caribbean as a whole.”
She identified the programme as one that “will help our students to make a link between science and technology learnt in the classroom and science and technology in the real world.”
The Science Officer pointed to Science and Technology as “primary engines of economic growth,” and indicated that those areas provided the key to unlocking any country’s potential.
As far as Muhammad was concerned, “countries that want to develop must invest significantly in Science and Technology.”
Muhammad shared the spotlight with Tracey Knight-Lloyd, Sagicor’s Marketing Officer, and Maya Trotz, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida.
Trotz, originally from Guyana, is also the Visiting Scientist at the Caribbean Science Foundation in Barbados.
The Workshop here laid the platform for a project which is aimed at getting students to benefit more from their school activities.
By January next year, Secondary schools here ought to have come up with projects which will enhance their school environment and arouse interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The venture, dubbed STEM, while having its theoretical outlook, will sensitise students into practical interpretations and appreciation of their surroundings.
Institutions can secure up to US$5,000 if their projects are successful.
Knight-Lloyd expects all secondary schools here to take part. Winners from each Caricom nation will be in Barbados in April for an exhibition of their work. The overall winner will visit Florida, where they and their work will be further exposed.
Trotz outlined the intention of fostering and sustaining increased awareness among students after the Workshop last Friday.
“We have to be creative,” she indicated. Trotz is also hopeful that the renewed interest will increase the performance of students in Maths throughout the region, and anticipates that more students will be encouraged to go into the sciences.