Robots and coding have become increasingly prevalent in modern education, and a recent robotics camp has taken an integrated approach to teaching these skills. The camp focused on hands-on problem-based activities, emphasizing the importance of preparing today’s youth for success in an ever-changing environment.
The organizers of the camp recognize that coding and robotics seamlessly fit into the broader STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) framework. By introducing young children to these fields at an early age, the camp opens doors to endless possibilities and future opportunities.
Not only does the camp aim to develop individual skills in problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, and essential 21st-century competencies, but it also considers the broader impact on society. The organizers highlight the importance of thinking beyond the present moment and envisioning a brighter, technologically empowered future for our communities.
The camp, held in collaboration with the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) at the UWI, Mona, Campus, brought together students from Trinidad & Tobago and other Caribbean countries. Participants between the ages of 11 and 18 worked on group projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. They created websites and petitions related to critical SDGs, such as Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Good Health and Well-Being.
The camp is part of IGT’s After School Advantage (ASA) Programme, which aims to provide youth with access to technology and promote digital learning. The camp was offered exclusively to beneficiaries of IGT’s ASA partnerships with NGOs and community organizations throughout the Caribbean.
Through the camp, students had the opportunity to collaborate with peers from other Caribbean countries, building technological solutions for the identified SDGs. This experience not only enhanced their coding skills but also fostered a sense of global citizenship and environmental stewardship.
As coding and robotics seamlessly integrate into the STEM framework, young children are provided with a pathway to future success. The camp and similar initiatives play a vital role in equipping today’s youth with the skills needed to thrive in an increasingly technology-driven world.
– Independent education consultant and university lecturer Nalini Ramsawack-Jodha
– IGT Trinidad and Tobago general manager Dexter W. Thomas
– IGT’s After School Advantage (ASA) Programme