The Full Story
Educators who participated in the recently concluded Scientific Research Council (SRC) summer attachment programme are thanking the organisation for an empowering experience.
Alternative Pathway for Secondary Education Coach, Stony Hill Technical High School, Janice Brown Henry, gathered a wealth of knowledge over the five days.
“It was very fulfilling for me. I think the programme is very inspiring. It was also very motivational. Many of the things that were presented were things that I was unaware of or I had a misconception of, and they were all cleared up,” she said.
As part of its mandate, the SRC supports schools in developing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programmes.
“Now I am empowered to use STEM in the classroom, and I understand the whole concept of STEM in the curriculum. I am looking to train others to integrate STEM in teaching,” Mrs. Brown Henry said.
The Pathway Coach also commends the Council for sticking to its official order of promoting science among youngsters. This, as she is convinced that STEM education provides students with the requisite skills to operate in the 21st century workforce and develop critical thinking skills.
Mrs. Brown Henry said STEM education should be “taught as early as the preschool stage, so students can grow up understanding how the world will function in the near future”.
In addition to knowledge sharing, the summer attachment programme made way for the individuals to expand their network.
The teaching professionals now have access to STEM ambassadors for support in the delivery of STEM programmes. These include scientists and other experts in the science and technology field.
For Classroom Teacher, Tainia Taylor, this was a crowning moment. She looks forward to partnering with her new contacts to create engaging experiences for her students.
“I will definitely be taking a new approach and integrate a lot of the resources that I’ve been exposed to in [my lessons]. I will also share what I learned with my colleagues,” she said.
Ms. Taylor eagerly awaits the next staging in 2023. In fact, she intends to invite others to share in the “mind-blowing experience”.
Executive Director of the SRC, Dr. Charah Watson, said a part of its mandate is strengthening teachers’ capabilities, which led to this annual skills development project.
“It is very important for the country to strengthen STEM education programmes, so we can have more students participate in STEM-based careers that can lead to solutions and innovations that will ultimately develop our country,” she said.
Eighteen persons at varying levels of the education system joined the Council for the five-day initiative, which Dr. Watson said is a reimagination of the entity’s yearly summer camp.
It included a three-day workshop and a two-day familiarisation tour of the SRC facilities and Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
The programme is designed for primary and secondary-level educators; however, other members of the education system jumped at the opportunity to advance their knowledge.
Over the three day-period, presentations that focused on STEM in the national school curriculum, tissue culture and an introduction to microbes helped the participants to understand difficult scientific concepts, while lessons on science and engineering tasks and planning STEM activities for the classroom equipped the educators with practical examples.
This successful execution has encouraged the SRC to deliver more rewarding and refreshing sessions in the future.
Efforts are being made to better persuade educators and students of the importance of science and technology in developing the country.
One of the things the Council is considering in enhancing the summer attachment programme is more collaborations with a greater number of industry experts, so that teachers can see STEM from other angles.
Dr. Watson said she is hoping to form partnerships with pharmaceutical, engineering, and manufacturing companies that have science and technology at the core of their business.