STEM summer  camp underway
July 19, 2013

STEM summer camp underway

Forty students from various secondary schools will spend the next six weeks of their summer vacation at the STEM summer camp.{{more}}

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The camp is being held at the St Martin’s Secondary School.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, director of the camp Petrus Gumbs explained that the package is designed so that students will be actively involved in creating various activities ranging from application software, personal website and game development, using industry standard software.

He further noted that while engaged in these classes, students will be using their knowledge of Math, English, Science and a bit of engineering (which are the core areas STEM is developed around) to resolve some of their tasks.

“These are software which can be used either to further enhance their current studies or outside of their classrooms,” he said.

During the summer of 2012, Gumbs said classes were held at the St Martin’s Secondary School, during which students developed websites and manipulated pictures to create digital art. This year, Gumbs said, they are expanding the range of the classes offered to include Pascal Programming, Game Development/ Programming, Web and Graphics Design and Database development (using Access and MySQL).

“Why do you think that kids in more developed countries are “more advanced” than our kids down here?

“Do you think they are any smarter? No. They are the same kind of people, but I will tell you what is happening. Our kids are not as exposed and that is one of the things that is coming here: exposure,” Gumbs stated.

“They (participants) will be exposed to magnitudes of different, especially powerful applications. And these are not any run-of-the-mill applications. These are professional applications.

“Actually, if you want to know how professional they are, one application license will cost you US $500. So, you see where we’re getting at?

“These are applications, when they leave here they can take with them and continue, if that’s their interest to get into it. That’s the kind of application we are working with,” he added.

Gumbs will be assisted by four other teachers — Alisford Samuel, St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown; Richard Smith, St Martin’s Secondary; Josette Johnson, Adelphi Secondary and Sherry Edwards, St Mary’s Roman Catholic.

Principal of the St Martin’s Secondary Neures Auguste said he is pleased to know that the initiative which is into its second year was launched at St Martin’s.

“I must make it clear though that STEM is not a St Martin’s initiative. It is something for all of our students of St Vincent and the Grenadines; every single one of them….

He implored that the participants to take the STEM initiative seriously.

“Put your best forward, embrace what it is giving to you at this time and ensure you make good use of it.” (AA)