MORE than 20 young people are benefiting from the 'Classroom to Real World' mentorship workshop, which aims to connect students of science with professionals within the industry across the world.
The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) mentorship workshop is a special initiative of the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology (MSET), in collaboration with the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST).
It included both in-person and virtual presentations with specially invited guests, who shared how their pursuit of science studies has propelled them into rewarding careers.
Addressing the workshop at the PCJ Auditorium in St Andrew on July 21, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Daryl Vaz said the ministry, and, by extension the Government, will continue to popularise science and its role in creating new knowledge, improving education, and increasing the quality of life for the people.
"When this programme was first launched in March as an event commemorating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I noted that this could be a game-changer in how we encourage our youth to pursue STEM disciplines, as well as popularise science as a viable and rewarding profession," he shared.
The minister said he is quite pleased that the programme is being continued, and has morphed to facilitate the mentorship of both males and females from universities and high schools across Jamaica.
Vaz recognised the speakers and STEM professionals who addressed the gathering, noting that "without your support, none of this would be possible".
"Your work in the fields covering environmental sciences, climate change and agriculture is greatly appreciated; so too is your willingness to mentor," he said.
The minister urged the participants to leverage the presentations to derive maximum benefits.
Meanwhile, executive director of the NCST Dr Olive-Jean Burrowes said the coaching sessions aim to expose the budding STEM young professionals to opportunities available in the field.
"STEM doesn't only mean that it is for doctors and nurses and the traditional science professionals, but there are a plethora of other professionals in this sphere of science and technology, so be prepared to get some good and exciting information from our presenters," she said.
The presenters included: Climate change expert, Grenada, Steve Maximay; environmental scientist, Dr Theresa Rodriquez-Moodie; food scientist, MDLZ International, Lorraine Robinson; and agricultural entrepreneur, Cordia Thompson.