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Five years ago young Lucas Tyler Wyatt Simpson walked into the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Georgetown, to join Guyana’s educational spark- a new approach to getting children excited about learning and appreciating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), fields historically seen as the domain of ‘bright students.’
STEMGuyana, which was brought to Guyana by Ms. Karen Abrams, was inviting young minds, across the divide, to look at these fields of study not from trepidation but enthusiasm, curiosity, the desire to learn and overcome the fear of learning.
STEMGuyana says from a very young age, Lucas possessed a knack for being able to create elaborate and intricate pieces from Legos, including spaceships, transformers and battle-bots. Following the conclusion of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) exams in 2019, Lucas enrolled in the STEMGuyana July/August robotics programme.
Immediately, he found his niche among the receivers, sensors and codes in the robotics programmes. Under the mentorship of coaches at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall STEM club, Lucas was able to blossom as he honed his ability to conceive, design and build robots.
Asked what was the best thing about being part of the STEM club, Lucas said he was allowed to explore his creative side without limitations. He credits his coaches for encouraging him to pursue his ‘unusual’ robotics concepts. In this nurturing environment young Simpson was building his confidence, developing his personal skills and teamwork capacity. This led to him better appreciating his worth and role in personal, familial and national development.
Today Lucas is a Junior Camp Counselor with STEMGuyana. Having evolved from the young mentee he is now reaching back, inspiring, teaching and mentoring others, the way he was mentored over the years.
As a Junior Camp Counselor with STEM over the July/August school break Lucas worked with children enrolled at the Beginners’ level which he says, gave him the opportunity to impart knowledge of robotics to fellow future engineers.
Lucas was part of the 2020 and 2021 junior national robotics team that represented Guyana at the International Youths Robotics Competition (IYRC) in Korea. In both years STEMGuyana placed Guyana on the map, carting away bronze medals. Lucas credits the success of the teams to the hard work and dedication put into drafting, testing and applying programming skills until the robots were fit for the competition.
Again this year, young Simpson has been selected to be part of Guyana’s IYRC robotics team. The teams are awaiting results after submitting their robots to the competition’s selection committee.
Lucas credits his accomplishments in robotics to the unwavering support, dedication and hands-on approach of STEMGuyana Founder, Ms Karen Abrams and to his favorite coaches, Aisha and Dominic.
Now Lucas is not only more knowledgeable in STEM, has under his belt the title of Junior Counselor, and has blossomed to a fierce competitor on the international scene, but he is also successfully streamed into Tech-Engineering at St Rose’s High School.
Lucas exemplifies the village concept of many playing positive roles in the nurturing of our children and the joy of watching the fruits of such investment.