Solar oven, computers a hit among students

– at national science and technology fair

The Ministry of Education yesterday showed off Guyana’s current and future potential in the fields of science and technology at the National Science and Technology Fair held at the Carifesta Sports Complex.

The theme for Education Month ‘Transforming Guyana through Science and Technology in Education’ was used to launch the one-day fair, held as part of the wrapping up activities of Education Month.

The exhibits focused on, among other subject areas, climate change and the environment, energy and water conservation, mangrove as a sea-defence mechanism, the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and recycling of plastics.

In addition to the students’ inventions, over 50 entities such as University of Guyana, co-sponsor Digicel, Institute of Applied Science and Technology, Global Technologies, the National Centre for Educational Resource and Development (NCERD) and the Guyana Police Force displayed various science and technology apparatus. Several students were elated not only about their participation at the fair but at the myriad gadgets displayed.

A student of Comenius Primary volunteering information on Amerindian Heritage Month while skyping with students in Patterson, New Jersey, in an interactive session at yesterday’s Science and Technology Fair.

The solar panel oven displayed by the University of Guyana’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences seemed to be the pick-of-the-day for many attendees. This was possibly due in part to the fact that they were allowed to partake of the muffins being baked on spot in the oven. Seven-year Malachi Adonis of the St Pius Primary School said, smiling as he sampled one, “I never knew you could use the sun to bake. Here in Guyana with so much sun we can open many bakeries!” He added that the taste of the cake was no different, to him, to those his mother bakes in her gas oven.

Another attraction was a model volcano made of local materials and illustrated to participants, volcanic activity such as the spewing of lava and magma.
Computer hardware, software and peripherals were also big among students and adults present at the fair. Students were given hands-on tutorials on web browsing and shown how to assemble a system unit.

Many of the younger children were seen using the computers to play interactive games, competing against each other.

What is the “matter” here?-This lad was given a lesson in matter at the Science and Technology Fair held yesterday at the Carifesta Sports Ground.

One St Joseph High School boy said he wished most of his classes at school were the same or similar to one of the interactive games he played.

When asked what about the game and learning he found interesting he said “at school we are not given games, not even educational games to play on the computer. I wish teachers could learn from this that children like video games if they have computers and use them to interest them.”

Karen Boyd, a University of Guyana representative, explained to students the benefits of plastic demonstrating how plastic bottles could be recycled to make household ornaments and jewellery among other things.

Acknowledging the difference in learning among boys and girls, with the former noted in the Millennium and Gender Equality reports as lagging behind the latter, the National Literacy Programme dedicated a booth to various stimulating material that would pique male students learning.

A representative of the group said none of the material would be distributed and used as part of teaching-learning aids classrooms countrywide. She explained that the brochures and other materials on display were for parents to take note of and possibly use when teaching their children.

The Guyana Police Force Forensics Department showed the various technologies that are used to gather evidence and process crime scenes.

The National Science and Technology Fair was held as part of the Education Ministry’s focus on Science and Technology as major planks of Guyana’s 2008-2013 Education Strategic Plan.

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