Georgetown, Guyana – (December 16, 2019) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger yesterday reiterated her call to youth to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives, noting its importance in equipping them for the job market in this modern world.
Mrs. Granger added that because of its importance, she includes STEM training in the workshops organized by her office.
She made these remarks during the opening ceremony of the one-day STEM Guyana – Tullow Oil Third Annual Robotics Exhibition held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal.
The First Lady said her interaction with youths involved in Robotics has been incredible. She said that she is pleased that the workshops have allowed young people to explore and to learn how to tackle challenges both individually and as a team.
“The drive that our young people have shown at all the competitions… they face challenges [that] they were able to overcome. They were able to work with teams from other countries and they were able to succeed,” she said.
Co-Founder, STEM Guyana, Mrs. Karen Abrams explained that the exhibition’s main objective is to motivate youths and help them to prepare for the future with the technological skills necessary to succeed. She also said that over the last three years there has been significant growth and expansion in interest in STEM among young people.
“We have taken STEM to every region and there are pockets of geniuses…We [STEM] are looking for young people who are interested, excited, thoughtful, creative… we want to make a difference in the lives of those young people,” she said.
Mrs. Abrams also noted that the STEM Clubs have increased steadily over the years and STEM Guyana will continue to work towards increasing the number of teams.
Meanwhile, Tullow Guyana, Country Manager, Mr. Joachim Vogt said that since the company uses technology in its operations, it understands the importance of STEM. Mr. Vogt emphasized that one of the company’s targets is supporting STEM education. He pledged Tullow Oil’s support to STEM Guyana in its quest to promote creativity and innovation.
“The world is full of global problems. We need to address many of those problems with technology and hence you, STEM Guyana, are part of the solution through your brilliance and innovative spirit… So, it is not a surprise that supporting STEM education is a target for Tullow Oil…Our business is built on STEM and we have seen the difference it can make in society,” he said.
Additionally, Director (Ag.) Department of Youth, Ms. Leslyn Boyce, said the Department’s mandate is to foster youth development by ensuring that youths countrywide are adequately and effectively empowered through training that will enhance their skills. This empowerment, she noted, will enable the youths to make meaningful contributions to society. She also noted that the Department has partnered with the Ministry of Public Telecommunications and STEM Guyana to provide Robotics and Scratch Programming in Regions two, three, four, five, six and ten, primarily to out of school youths with the aim of introducing them to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Artificial Intelligence.
During the event, 10 laptops were distributed to the 10 most outstanding STEM clubs as well as other items including tablet computers. The members of the STEM Clubs were presented with medals and certificates for participating in the National Robotics League held earlier this year.
The exhibition also featured a Robotic demonstration by STEM Guyana team members, Lego brick play stations for children and a child-friendly interactive centre hosted by Starr Computers. Robots built by the various clubs were also demonstrated and displayed. Minister of Public Telecommunication, Mrs. Catherine Hughes also attended the event.