STEM students taught skills  for real world
August 30, 2013

STEM students taught skills for real world

Participants of the recently concluded STEM summer camp may now be regarded as creators of technology instead of just consumers.STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.{{more}}

Sixty students, between the ages of 11 and 16, attended the two-week camp held at the St Martin’s Secondary School.

The participants were actively involved in developing application software, personal websites and video games, using industry standard software.

While engaged in these classes, students used their math, English and science knowledge and a bit of engineering skills (which are the core areas STEM is developed around) to resolve some of their tasks.

They were also involved in developing websites and manipulated pictures to create digital art.

The 60 participants were presented certificates for completing the camp during a closing ceremony held on August 15 at the Methodist Church Hall.

Director of STEM Petrus Gumbs described STEM as a nurturing project that was initiated to demonstrate to participants that what they are currently learning is important and needed for the real world.

“One may ask why are developed countries’ children, age 12 and younger, seem to be excelling in this age of technology, from building mobile apps to creating video games for the masses to play, while our Vincentian children are still stuck on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and players of these same games.

“This not because our kids are any less smart than the developed countries’ children, but they are just not that exposed,” he stated.

He further noted that children today learn better when they see what they are working on or studying take some sort of tangible form.

“The students worked on projects which would take them beyond the regular work in the classroom.

“They used their previous knowledge gathered in the classroom and incorporated them in the STEM classes. Whether they are using the mathematics to calculate where a character walks in a game, or work out the changes that the software should display for the user. All the major subject areas were utilized in the most practical ways.”

Gumbs said he was amazed by the participants’ enthusiasm to learn about the various aspects of technology.

“Not only did we work with each other, but also learned from each other. I hope that what they have been exposed to at this camp would help them to see the importance of the career they have in mind and give them insight into some of the world’s most exciting careers.”

Gumbs, however, noted that majority of the participants at the camp were male and is encouraging more females to get on board for next year’s camp.

“We would like to have more females venturing into the fields of programming, software development, game development et cetera.”

Gumbs further stated that STEM’s vision is to guide the nation’s youth to adequately and effectively use their common knowledge to envision new career paths and offer support and resources to overcome challenges in core subject areas. (AA)