Come July and August Guyanese students are set to become more intimate with STEM, an acronym for Science, Techno-logy, Engineering and Mathematics, when four Georgia siblings hold camps at various locations aimed at helping them to understand the software and technology of the gadgets they are hooked on.
“We want them to understand how hardware and software technology already impacts their lives, how it will even more so in the future and how they should prepare to take advantage of future opportunities,” Karen Abrams, whose four children are the leaders in the upcoming camps, told the Stabroek News recently.
The four camps will be held from July 25 to 29 and August 1 to 5 with one camp being held from 9 am to noon and another from 1 pm to 4 pm. The July camps will be held in Tiger Bay and at Queen’s College. While the Buxton and Lusignan are the locations for the August camps. R&S Fishing and Shanti Ramischand are coordinating the Tiger Bay camp while QC’s Alumni Association of NY and specifically Terrence Blackman have invited the team to partner with them in their math camp. At Buxton, First Lady Sandra Granger, who has been very supportive of the initiative, has arranged for them to use the Friendship Primary School, while Sandra Shivdat has arranged for them to use the Lusignan-Good Hope Learning Centre for the other camp.
According to Abrams, who is married to Leon Christian, there is a revolution in the technological sphere and people in the developing world need to be part of it, hence the move to have the camps here. She said while STEM will revolutionise and speed-up development developing countries continue to pay outsiders for technology, adding that the goal is to get young people comfortable “thinking about what’s behind their computers and iPads and phones and TVs and all devices.”
The camps will teach young people to understand how hardware and software technology already impacts their lives and to build and programme robots. They would also foster innovation, creativity, problem solving and determination, which Abrams said are “necessary to be outstanding contributors in any industry.”
Asked about the selection process of the youths to be involved in the camps, Abrams said she was unsure of this, but noted that the places where the camps will be convened already conduct after-school activities for children.
The camps target youth between the ages of 10 and 14 and it is hoped some 100 children will be involved.
“Because the robots [Lego Mindstorm EV3] are expensive and sold in a controlled way by Lego, we agreed that we want more students to benefit by encouraging communities to create STEM clubs where the kids can build and practice,” Abrams said while adding that her children’s organization, k12youthcode, is creating a STEM league and they will organize competitions and prizes during the year so as to ensure that more young are involved.
The team is expected to fly to Guyana in a week. Potential coaches and camp volunteers are needed and so far some 20 persons have expressed interest and they are expected to be the ambassadors for the league after the team leaves.
Further, each organization with at least eight members, a place to practice and a coach that has gone through the team’s training will receive a robot kit after the camp.
Ima Christian, who is the eldest of Abrams’ four children, is an investment partner with Dorm Room Fund and she is also finishing up her freshman year at Stanford University where she is pursuing a BS degree in Computer Science. She and her siblings Asha and Caleb developed an app, Five-0, which is a nationally recognized tool for improving police-citizen relationships across the United States. Five-0 recently gained international acclaim, winning the 2015 Innovating Justice Challenge and €20,000 at The Hague, Netherlands in December 2015.
Asha Christian is a high school junior at the Georgia Cyber Academy in Stone Mountain. She is a co-founder of Pinetart Inc and is the technical influence behind Five-O.
Caleb Christian is a sophomore student at Georgia Cyber Academy. He is one of the co-founders of Pinetart Inc, a mobile app development company based in Atlanta, GA. Caleb is an advanced Science Student and has conducted research on Lupus disease. Their 12-year-old brother will also be joining them in Guyana.
For more information persons can check http://stemguyana.com, fb: https://www.facebook.com/k12youthcode/, K12youthcode and contact whatsapp: 770-402-5857 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.