The first staging of the IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp engaged youth participants from the International Game Technology (IGT) After School Advantage (ASA) Centers in Trinidad and Tobago, who are now better equipped with introductory tech skills.
The IGT-sponsored camp was done in collaboration with Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) located at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, through its flagship philanthropic initiative, the IGT After School Advantage Programme.
Introductory lessons in various aspects of coding and robotics were presented by the highly-skilled MGI team, assisted by Dr Nalini Ramsawak-Jodha who is an education specialist and STEM educator at UWI, St Augustine campus. Ramsawak-Jodha structured and aligned the curriculum to suit the needs of participants ranging from 11-18 years, said a media release.
The virtual camp was simultaneously held in August in five of the territories where IGT operates –Barbados, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Maarten and TT.
Participants from Amica House, Jairah Boys Rainbow Rescue and Sylphil Home in Love in TT, were among the 36 total youth participants from the Caribbean, who were deeply engrossed in the two-week, ground-breaking virtual coding and robotics camp.
Rainbow Rescue manager Kirwin Samuel said in the release, “At first when I registered the boys into the camp, they were very fussy about why them, why not someone else, just another boring camp they have to attend. By the second day, their whole perspective on the camp changed. Looking at their work and building their own webpages and having fun during the sessions indicated to me that MGI and IGT really wowed their expectations.”
Marie-Louise Belmar, supervisor at Amica House, was also in praise of the project. “I think what captured the girls’ interest the most was the fact that they were able to create a webpage on their own, and they totally enjoyed it. If anyone had problems or got lost during the weekly sessions, the MGI instructors and tutors took the time to help each person. This was great.”
Brendan Hames, regional director for IGT in the Caribbean, said, “The technological awareness that we have placed in the hands of these Caribbean youth will help them to better navigate, not just the digital educational landscape, but also the digital economic and professional landscapes.”
Hames expressed his gratitude to MGI, the ASA supervisors and, most importantly, the students of IGT’s first Coding and Robotics Rock Camp for making it a success. Addressing the children, he shared some advice from Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Each student received a certificate of participation.