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STEMGuyana Director, Karen Abrams stated today that she was excited about the prospects of collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Department of Youth to build a national STEM after-school program to enrich, educate and inspire the nation’s youth to prepare for the 21st century rapidly developing Guyana economy. While she was in the United States enjoying her children whom she has not seen in 8 months, and unable to join the meeting in the Office of the President, she remained optimistic that a collaboration of government and civil society would be effective in driving the innovation necessary for such a national program to be effective.
Abrams stated that she was confident that all agencies would follow the president’s desire to make the collaboration happen and that the details would be released when completed. She also repeated the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and stated that, “this resonates with me because it is the principle that guides the work of STEMGuyana and its interaction with all stakeholders. The children of Guyana, who are the future of Guyana and the world, need (and should be able to rely on) the support of every Guyanese to bloom and grow.”
The STEMGuyana team of individuals who visited with the president was part of the contingent that will represent Guyana at the First Global Robotics competition in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2022. The young people requested a meeting with the president to ask for his support in raising the funds needed for the trip. The team members were selected after a national call for interested youth. More than 50 young people from all across the country answered the call and were invited to the first round of evaluations which was an online process that required members to learn about the Engineering Design Process, conduct research, work together (virtually) on an engineering problem and present their findings. More than 20 young people made the first round cut which then moved to the in-person stage at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall. The traveling team will be announced in the media before the end of the week.
Parents from across the nation however, anxiously await the collaboration that will produce STEM clubs in schools across the country. The current program as designed by STEMGuyana focuses on more than robotics and coding. Major emphasis is placed on project based learning, and strengthening the ‘soft skills’ of club members–collaboration, problem solving, building trust, critical thinking and encouraging creativity and innovation in all students.
“Our students are being trained to lead in the 21st century economy”, said STEMGuyana co-founder, L. Caleb Christian. “It doesn’t matter what career they pursue, we are changing culture and developing leaders who will lead with humility, creativity, self confidence and integrity”, said Christian. The nation needs innovators and problem solvers who are skilled in respecting differences and collaborating and our young people will fit the bill. We have already demonstrated success in the 6 years that STEMGuyana has been operating here.”
STEMGuyana is a nonprofit company whose mission is to inspire, educate and prepare especially students from vulnerable communities in the 21st century economy that will depend on the skills of these young people to drive innovation and economic growth.