Wednesday, 25 June 2014

CXC official: STEM Challenge vital, exciting

Caribbean students are being encouraged to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects – not only as avenues to lucrative careers, but as a means of developing the region economically.

These words of encouragement came from the Assistant Registrar of  the Business Development Unit of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Michelle Stephens.

Asserting that these areas are fundamental to the region’s development, she said, “The harnessing of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are vital to the growth and rebalancing of our Caribbean economies.

“They underpin our abilities to diversify and advance industries and to innovate competitive products.”

However, though adding that “students who pursue these subjects are able to command high paying jobs,” she cautioned, “[…] but we want these subjects, not to be viewed singularly as a gateway to high income, but rather as vehicles to critical thinking, problem-solving and collaborative working”.

Therefore, she lauded Sagicor for introducing the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, and extended her gratitude to the Caribbean Science Foundation for “championing STEM as fun, functional and facilitating innovation”.

Stephens insisted that the initiative is also helping to create a paradigm shift in the teaching of these subjects.

Speaking to science teachers from the island’s secondary schools at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados on Friday, at the launch of the 2014 edition of the Challenge, she added, “CXC therefore sees this Sagicor Visionaries Challenge as a catalyst in shifting the approach to teaching and learning, from solely textbook-based, to experiential, relevant and current to the Caribbean circumstances.”

Having noted that North Gate College in Trinidad won the top prize recently in the Cubes In Space global contest, she affirmed that “potential for global competitiveness, in the field of STEM, lives right here in the Caribbean”.

She added, “This STEM Challenge will nurture that potential by using the CXC syllabus in a creative and exciting way, that allows both teachers and students to see STEM as living subjects, that when married with curious and open minds, possess indigenous solutions.”

Additionally, she informed teachers that under the Challenge, students sitting the sciences at the CXC level will be able to use their projects as School Based Assessments (SBAs), “once they satisfy the requirements”.

No comments:

Post a Comment