Jul 20, 2016 News
Instead of spending their entire vacation on easygoing activities, a group of enterprising youths have opted to boost their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills by attending free courses offered by the Queen’s College of Guyana Alumni Association (NY), Inc.
The courses commenced at the Queens College compound on Monday.
According to coordinator of the “Math Camp,” Saran Nurse, approximately thirty teenagers have been attending the courses since the commencement. The participants, whose ages range between 12 and 14 years old, are from Queen’s College, Bishops’ High and Tutorial High.
Nurse explained the course has various components. She said the foundation course deals specifically with Mathematics and problem-solving, but the programme also includes fun and interesting topics such as Mindstorm Robotics programming.
The course is slated to conclude on July 29.
Some of the participants recounted their experiences to date.
Mahesh Katwar, a third form student of Tutorial High related that his first day of the Math Camp was quite interesting. The teenager has his sights set on a career in the field of Information Technology, hence his interest in the course.
Katwar said that his older brother inspired his love for technology. He noted that he loves to watch his brother work – repairing and upgrading computers.
“I was just glad for the opportunity to learn new stuff and so I signed up,” he added.
Thirteen-year-old, Miranda Thomas of Queen’s College said that the programme has given her a new perspective on Mathematics, “an intensified look at something which I often take for granted; Mathematics”.
“We definitely cannot look at Math the same way again,” Thomas reflected.
Beyonce Skeekle says that the programme is definitely an opportunity for her and her peers to learn something new.
“We are learning about new things,” Skeekle added.
The students are looking forward to the other components of the programme, particularly the coding and robotics class slated to take place next week.
The Queen’s College of Guyana Alumni Association (NY), Inc. (“QCAANY) is hosting the inaugural ‘Math Camp’ in observance of its 25th anniversary.
The goal of the Math Institute is to inspire rising third formers to engage meaningfully in mathematics and to give serious consideration to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
While offering sophisticated math instruction, the Math Institute extends knowledge and skills beyond the traditional curriculum. It uses a developmentally appropriate approach that combines significant mathematical content within a setting that encourages a sense of discovery and excitement about math through problem-solving and interactive exploration. Complementary activities will be integral to the experience.
The coding and robotics component to the programme is courtesy of a relationship between QCAANY and k12youthcode.com, a Georgia-based organization. There are also a number of planned field trips, among which will be a trip to GuySuCo’s Uitvlugt Sugar Estate as well as the University of Guyana’s, Turkeyen Campus.
The programme further reinforces in-classroom lessons while enhancing students’ understanding of the importance of STEM in Guyana’s economic development. A number of encounters are planned featuring local professionals who will speak with students about STEM career options.
The two-week programme is free of cost to the participating students and includes lunch and snacks, with beverages donated by Banks DIH.
The Math Camp is the brainchild of Dr. Terrence Blackman, QC alumnus, Chair of the Medgar Evers Math Department, and a University of Guyana Education Resource Ambassador. He is leading the programme with support from Delon Ogle, a math teacher from QC; John Campbell and Saran Nurse, QCAANY’s President and Treasurer, respectively; Cleveland Waddell, QC alumnus and Graduate Student in Applied Math at North Carolina State University; local alumni and friends of QC; and personnel from the Ministry of Education of Guyana.
Air travel sponsorship is being provided by Fly Jamaica Airways.
The initiative is QCAANY’s latest demonstration of its firm commitment to STEM education and fulfills an earlier promise made to Minister of Education and QC alum Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine.
Since 2000, QCAANY has awarded annual scholarships to first and second year students enrolled at UG who have distinguished themselves in the area of chemistry while at QC. The scholarships cover tuition through The Vernley Ward Bursary, named in honour of a founding member of the association.
The group helped create the school’s first computer lab in the late 1990s and continues to collaborate with other alumni chapters to refurbish and upgrade equipment in the computer, physics and biology labs.
Broadly stated, the organization’s mission is to contribute significantly to the advancement and improvement of education in Guyana. For more information about the Math Camp, interested persons can contact QCAANY at [email protected].
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