Bioprist and Digicel stage robotics camp in Lucea
Approximately 200 students in western Jamaica are spending their summer holiday learning robotics, which is being offered as part of a wider scope of learning options at the Summer Knowledge Donation Camp in Hanover, which comes to a close this Friday.
The camp, which commenced on August 10, is being held at the Bioprist Knowledge Park (BKP) in Lucea. Robotics is the branch of technology that deals with the design, construction, operation, and application of robots.
The camp is a partnership between the Digicel foundation and Bioprist and is being held under the theme "Partnering to Develop Promising Young Scientists Globally". The foundation is assisting by providing students with innovative tools to stimulate curiosity and to improve their performance during the programme.
Six mobile labs equipped with state-of-the-art scientific equipment have been provided by the foundation to support this, the second staging of the event. Designed for students aged 10 to 15 years and their teachers, the three-week camp is the brainchild of Dr Guna Muppuri, CEO and president of BKP, in partnership with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Centre for Community Outreach Development.
In celebrating the partnership with the Digicel Foundation, Marsha-Lee Stewart, assistant marketing manager of BKP, said Muppuri's invigorating vision and personality have fostered a strong foundation with overseas partners, the Digicel foundation, and other corporate citizens.
QUALITY AND QUANTITY
"Last year, students were exposed to a wide range of topics, and the introduction of robotics is to expose them to other areas in this discipline. Ultimately, we want to partner with the government and the UAB to build a college at this site. The summer camp is to plant the seed for the developments that we want to put in place," Stewart said.
Ten-year-old camp attendee Sassieann Peterkin was excited to return to the camp for a second year.
"I don't usually do so well in science, but last year when I came, I learned so much. I even made my own baby powder after all the experiments they showed me. When I went back to school, I ended up getting 100 per cent in my science exams, so my mother made sure that I was here again this year," she said.
Vice-Chairman of the Digicel Foundation Joy Clarke said the Digicel Foundation was committed to enriching the overall learning experience through technology and innovation through, among other things, its mobile science labs.
"We have provided mobile labs in 32 high schools across the island and will introduce these labs to 18 additional schools by December 2016, thereby increasing the quality and quantity of resources for education in science, mathematics - and now robotics - at the high school level."
The mobile science labs project, initiated in 2014, falls under the Digicel Foundation's Innovation in Education portfolio. It is conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Clinton Global Initiative.