Hanover summer camp a success
The first-ever science summer camp to be staged in Jamaica is now history, and from all indications, the project, which took place in Lucea, Hanover, as a joint venture between the Digicel Foundation, Bioprist Knowledge Parks (BKP), and the University of Alabama in Birmingham, was an overwhelming success.
The camp, designed for children between the ages 10 and 13, as well as high-school teachers in western Jamaica, spanned three weeks. The first week focused on training teachers, while the final two weeks were geared at empowering and challenging students through the use of hands-on activities in several aspects of science and technology.
"There has been a renewed emphasis on science throughout the island via the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programme," said a release from Account Executive Tashna-Toya Edwards, who spoke on behalf of the organisers of the project. "Additionally, recent reports show that there has been a general decline in performance in the science-related subjects across Jamaica. In recognition of these, the Digicel Foundation continues to display a keen interest in developing science and technology through a number of initiatives such as the mobile science lab project."
The mobile science labs project is the most recent initiative of the Digicel Foundation, under the Innovation in Education portfolio, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Clinton Global Initiative. As part of this project, the foundation provided three mobile labs for use throughout the duration of the camp.
"The Digicel Foundation is committed to enriching the overall learning experience through technology and innovation," said Digicel Foundation Chairman Jean Lowrie-Chin.
"We have provided mobile labs in 17 high schools across the island and will introduce these labs to 33 additional schools within three years, increasing the quality and quantity of resources for education in science and mathematics at the high school level."
She said the famous Rusea's High School in Hanover would be one of the recipients."
In welcoming the commitments from the Digicel Foundation, Dr Guna Muppurri, president of Bioprist, one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in Jamaica, expressed delight with the idea of the summer camp being staged in western Jamaica and commended the Digicel Foundation for the initiative.
Ron McKay, president of AmCham, and Dr Simon Clarke, chairman of the National Council on Education in Jamaica, both commended the students for dedicating their holidays to advancing their knowledge of science, while also congratulating the teachers and sponsors for their generosity and dedication.
Speaking on behalf of the teachers volunteering from the University of Alabama, Dr Michael Wyss expressed their pleasure with being part of the programme and expressed a desire to see the partnership continue.