The Guyana Mining School and Training Centre Inc.,in partnership with its stakeholders and supporting training partners, has begun training more than thirty five young adults in disciplines relating to the application of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the exploration component of upstream oil and gas operations.
Tuition is being offered every other weekend on Saturdays in the Boardroom of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission. The first course, titled “Introduction to Exploration Geophysics Course,” commenced on the 28th October. It will conclude on December 30.
What is essentially an applied physics course was developed and is being taught by the School’s Director, John Applewhite–Hercules who told Stabroek Business that he believes that it offers “an interesting way to stimulate interest amongst youths, who wish to pursue careers within the Oil and Gas sector.” Applewhite-Hercules is an Australian trained Geologist, with a Masters in Mineral Resources, from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia and a Senior Geologist at the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission.
Applewhite-Hercules who told Stabroek Business that his current pursuit involves “bridging the gap between the applications of STEM and the emerging opportunities within the Oil and Gas, Engineering and Mining sectors” says that much of his work involves “teaching the critical skills of Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Programming and their applications.” He said that the imminent arrival of oil and gas meant that Guyanese youths need to be oriented “from the secondary and even primary levels, towards the emerging opportunities within the oil and gas, engineering and mining sectors though it was critical that they be communicated with in language that they could understand. Accordingly, much of his training is supported with DVD-based lectures.
“With oil and gas coming on stream what we need in Guyana, is to effect a mindset change at all levels. Every avenue for partnerships with the public and private sector must be pursued, so as maximize such opportunities as may exist for effectively exploiting our resources.”
At the academic level Applewhite-Hercules says that the advent of oil and gas now renders it “more necessary than it has ever been for accelerated emphasis to be placed on subjects like physics, chemistry and mathematics since they each supplement each other in the pursuits that are now important to our development.
Applewhite-Hercules says that through the Guyana Mining School and Training Centre the GGMC is seeking to carve a training niche for STEM applications such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Information Technology. “It is the direction in which we need to go.”