This spring, 30 Bahamian teachers ranging from first and twelfth grade headed back to the classroom as part of a continuing education program focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The week-long workshops hosted by Royal Caribbean Group, the Pan American Development Foundation and The Caribbean Science Foundation focused on STEM education techniques and enhancing local curriculums with regional ocean conservation topics.
The teachers participated in two types of workshops — first, they conducted five days of online classes with demos and then they had two days of hands-on robotic training with a focus on oceanography in Nassau.
Teachers were able to build remotely operated vehicles ROVs from a kit, training the teachers how to solder, and assemble controller boxes and water-proof motors before operating the robots. Exploring topics in navigation, teachers also learned how compasses, sonar and magnetic waves work.
Ms. Dawnette Campbell from All Age RN Gomez School in Great Harbour Cay, The Bahamas said, “It was a pleasure to be a part of such an informative and in-depth workshop”. Another teacher, Ms. Tanyann Bowe-Green from the TA Thompson Junior High School in Nassau assists in STEM camps for high functioning children with disabilities at her school and participated in the workshops, she said, “it was very interesting and informative. Looking forward to implementing what I’ve learned with my students”. As a result of the program, she was inspired to get her PhD in special needs education with a specialty in STEM.
But the learning and development opportunities did not stop there — PADF also partnered with the Global Conversations Development Centre to host a STEM program for 100 students during a Spring camp. The program ran until June 15 and catered to nearly 150 students ages five to 18 — welcoming youth with disabilities, youth from The Bahamas AIDS Foundation, and students that are also teen moms.
Students are immersed throughout the program in stimulating activities. Some of those activities include creating art from beach pollution and learning about the layers of the sea. Using everyday liquids such as blue food coloring, vegetable oil, and liquid soap students modeled the layers of the ocean. In upcoming sessions, students can participate in a beach clean-up and listen to other experiences from local STEM advocates.
Programs like this teach students different, hands-on focuses that are not typically offered in schools. At Royal Caribbean Group, we believe in partnering with the communities we visit and enhancing education and opportunities for all. We hope our partnerships continue to educate people across the world about the importance of protecting our oceans in fun and innovative ways.