KINGSTON, Jamaica – Over 30 children at the primary level learned about robots and coding, as well as teamwork and creative problem-solving, at a recently held robotics summer camp.
The camp was organised in partnership with the Digicel Foundation, KRW Tronics and Jamaica Theological Seminary.
Director of Strategic Planning and Community Development at the Digicel Foundation, Miguel ‘Steppa’ Williams shared that the camp has served as a launching point for young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) careers.
He said, “The camp offers hands-on experience in robotics technology and equips them with the necessary tools to inspire the next generation of young inventors, scientists, and engineers. The children were introduced to the exciting world of robotics, fostering creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork.”
Robotics camp instructor, Jerome Morrison, shared that the camp’s curriculum was expertly crafted to provide a hands-on and interactive learning environment.
“The children learned about the VEX IQ robot and how to programme it from a device. They also used the Scratch platform to build their own game. Most of the tasks given were completed collaboratively to help build team-building skills. Overall they showed high levels of interest in robotics,” said Morrison.
Morrison explained the importance of teaching children robotics skills from an early age. He noted, “We live in a much-computerised era now. They call this era the 4th industrial revolution which also involves STEAM education. Therefore, it is good for students to learn about these skills from a young age because, in the future, robots are going to be very common, almost as common as the laptop and smart devices that we use on a daily basis. It will be very beneficial to the children to learn about robots from now so it doesn’t become strange to them and as they grow, they will have an opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills they developed from that young age.”
For 10-year-old Kiszey-Anna Clarke, the robotics camp allowed her to meet and interact with other kids. “I gained a lot of new friends who have similar interests as me. We can operate robots as a team and we learned a lot together.," she said.
Meanwhile, for Nichoy Moses, a nine-year-old budding scientist, the robotics camp provided him with an opportunity to explore new skills. He said, “I learned a lot of things for the first time such as programming. I really enjoyed assembling the robot and making it move and do things at our command.”