Sagicor partners with the Caribbean Science Foundation to develop and educate youth in STEM
Bridgetown, Barbados – Sagicor has invested more than US$20,000 in the island’s youth education and development in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by partnering with the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), sponsoring their projects that include the Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPICE) 2019, the Barbados Junior Robotics Camp and the upcoming CSF Computer Coding Workshops.
The CSF offers SPISE to Caribbean high-school students, ages 16 to 17 years old, who are gifted in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and interested in studying and exploring careers in these disciplines. The Barbados Junior Robotics Camps are an annual summer enrichment programme for young Barbadian students interested in robotics with the aim of introducing basic technology and engineering concepts to children. The camps are targeted at children who are passionately interested in STEM and enjoy hands-on work, while the Coding Workshops develop computer programming skills in students and young adults.
Professor Dr. Cardinal Warde, Interim Executive Director of the CSF noted that sponsorship to these programmes plays a critical role, as the hope is that one day, soon, the next “Google” could be come out of the Region, and one such globally competitive company could supply all the able-bodied persons in one of our countries with high-quality paying jobs.
Dr Warde added that “We want these youngsters to get hooked on STEM subjects, and to get hooked on understanding that they can improve the quality of their lives when they grow up, by some of them becoming leaders in science, engineering and technology entrepreneurship.”
“At this time in the history of Barbados, we need to develop a bigger, stronger economic powerhouse, because tourism by itself does not bring in sufficient revenue and foreign exchange to meet the needs of Barbados. And we believe that these youngsters in the future are going to help solve that problem,” he said.
Chief Operating Officer of Sagicor Life Inc. Edward Clarke said, “Back in 2012, representatives of Sagicor, the CSF and the Caribbean Examinations Council met to discuss an important issue facing the region: Are young people of the Caribbean equipped for the future ahead of them? We know that technology is a major force in today’s developments. Advances in STEM are catalysts which are continuously propelling the growth and development of our region and beyond.”
“This is the reason why Sagicor, from inception to date, continue to support these important initiatives with CFS promoting STEM education. Because for more than 175 years, having been an active corporate citizen in the Caribbean, we at Sagicor recognize that for the region to keep pace with global developments, a STEM educational initiative is needed to create generations of critical thinkers to prime us to compete in global business markets and we can only do so by arming our people so that they can pursue these areas of expertise. These initiatives fall within Sagicor’s social contributions in education and youth development,” he added.