JIS News

Children from Manchester are benefiting from a five-day summer camp organised by the Scientific Research Council (SRC), which is aimed at helping them to better understand science.
The camp, which got underway yesterday (July 24) at the Mount St. Joseph Preparatory School in Mandeville, is being held in collaboration with the Bureau of Standards.
Some 40 children age 9 to 11 years are expected to participate in the camp, which is being held under the theme: ‘Creative Kidz Exploring Science, Technology and Standardization’. Andrea Heavens, Team Leader for the Popularization of Science and Technology Programme at the SRC, told JIS News that the hope was that children, who participate in the camp, would begin to see science as something they could enjoy.
“We want to demystify science for school children; we want them to realize that science can be fun and we are also helping to complement the formal school curriculum through this camp and so we have planned a number of activities to achieve this objective,” she said.
Some of the activities include, performing laboratory experiments to observe chemical changes when substances react; reviewing the importance of weights and measures; assembling computers and looking at how they work; looking at how human beings interact with science; and field trips to Southern Food Processors in St. Elizabeth as well as the Wigton Wind Farm in Rosehill, Manchester.
In addition, Ms. Heavens informed, the SRC has developed a specific teaching module aimed at helping children understand living things, which would be taught at the camp.
The Manchester camp is one of four being hosted by the SRC for the summer, with others at the Bureau of Standards offices in Kingston, Bluefields, Westmoreland, and Montego Bay Community College, St. James. “We are now hosting four camps catering for about 40 students each annually during the summer, though not necessarily at the same time, as part of the Council’s Popularization of Science and Technology Programme,” Ms. Heavens explained.
She noted that the camps were fully sponsored by the SRC so the participants were not required to pay and, in addition to demonstrations from the SRC, the children would also benefit from presentations by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and Digicel.
The SRC’s summer camp programme, which started in 1996 in Bluefields, is just one of the activities carried out by the Popularization of Science and Technology Programme to assist school children.
Under the programme, annual science and technology quiz competitions are also held, in addition to essay and poster competitions and science fairs for primary and high schools students.