Students at 12 Corporate Area high schools are set to benefit from a series of one-day workshops aimed at exposing them to the exciting discipline of robotics.
Dubbed “Lego Yuh Mind Day”, the initiative is the undertaking of Halls of Learning, a Jamaican-based organisation dedicated to empowering the lives of young people through education.
The project, which will run from March 2 to June 1, will provide some 540 students, 45 from each school, with hands-on learning experience in science, mathematics, technology and problem-solving through the building of autonomous robots.
Speaking at the launch of the programme held at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on Wednesday (February 29), State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson said “Lego Yuh Mind” was a welcomed initiative.
“This kind of programme will challenge the minds of our young people. It allows them to be creative and it allows us as a country not just to buy or use technology, but to become innovators in technology, in that we can develop programmes that we can sell to the rest of the world,” he stated.
Coordinator, Governor-General’s “I Believe Initiative,” Nicholas Chambers, gave his full endorsement to the project, noting that it will not only expose children to the knowledge of robotics, but that it will also help them to realise and accept, as true, that there is nothing beyond their reach.
“The consequence of this realisation is the achievement of quality and excellence in all aspects of their lives,” he stated.
Mr. Chambers said if Jamaica is to keep pace with the rapid changes and advancements in technology, then the youth of the country will have to be fully exposed to all that happens across the globe.
Founder, Halls of Learning, Marvin Hall noted that the series of one-day workshops is just the first phase of a larger vision he has for Jamaica, which is to expose one million Jamaican youth to the discipline of robotics and by extension, science and technology.
“Lego Yuh Mind Day” will give 540 students the opportunity to have a one-day robotics workshop; but we are not comfortable with that. What we need to figure out is how many of these workshops it will take for us to reach one million Jamaican children,” he said. “We are not going to rest until that goal is achieved."
Mr. Hall, a teacher by profession, informed that the mission of Halls of Learning is to bring the highest quality learning experiences to Jamaican children regardless of their background.
Schools to be included in the one-day workshops are: Camperdown High, Vauxhall High, Dunoon Technical, Denham Town High, Alpha Academy and St. Hugh’s High. The workshops are scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Mr. Hall further noted that “Lego Yuh Mind Day” will serve to inspire Jamaica’s next generation of scientists, inventors and engineers, who will be critical to the country’s growth and development.
“Through team-work, problem-solving and solution building exercises, the participants will develop lifelong skills that can be applied in any field of their interest. Lego Yuh Mind Day will motivate students to see the importance of doing well in math, science, and ICT through a hands-on experience with textbook concepts,” he said.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter