Minister: STEM Education In Public Schools

July 10, 2016

Speaking in the House of Assembly on Friday [July 8] Minister of Education Wayne Scott  provided an update on the Career Pathways and Career Technical STEM programmes being implemented by the Department of Education.

Minister Scott said, “STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. The STEM Program focuses on these areas together, not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success in the 21st century, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the ‘real world’ and in how some students learn most effectively.

MINISTER-STEMS Bermuda July 8 2016  (1)

“For the upcoming 2016/17 academic school year, the Department of Education in collaboration with the Bermuda College has established an Applied Technology Programme.

“There will be 28 students from both CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute participating in this dual enrolment technology programme that merges five areas of exploration, namely: Construction Technology and Trades; Computer Aided Technical Drawing; Programming for Technicians; Electricity and Electronics; and, Engineering and Design

“Let me share two initiatives that are very much encouraging and I am sure that the Honourable Members of this House and the listening audience will agree. The first initiative acknowledges a team of students from the CedarBridge Academy who was successful in reaching the championship level in the STEMBOARD Solar Grand Challenge competition.

MINISTER-STEMS Bermuda July 8 2016  (2)

“This competition is being hosted by DHL Worldwide Express and STEMBoard Partners in the Bahamas from July 17th to 22nd, 2016. It is offering student teams from the Bahamas, Bermuda and Cayman Islands an opportunity to create portable, low-cost solar energy solutions.

“Students from the winning team will earn up to $10,000 in prizes. Additionally, these students may see their ideas come to fruition and assist DHL Express reduce utility costs at its office facilities.

“The success of our students building this mobile solar STEM unit is a direct outflow of a partnership with Bermuda College and industry partner Mr. Joseph Weeks, Owner of Combined Engineering Technologies.

“The combined knowledge and expertise of Mr. Weeks; Bermuda College instructor, Mr. Delroy Musson; and teacher Mr. Iman Gibbons, will steer the students and guide them through a prototype Solar building project at the Bermuda College, leading up to their departure to attend the Solar Grand Challenge in the Bahamas.

MINISTER-STEMS Bermuda July 8 2016  (3)

“We applaud our students who are involved in this competition. The Bermuda team comprises CedarBridge Academy students Eric Wallace and Malachi Butterfield. We certainly wish them good success as they compete in the Bahamas; and, eagerly wait to hear of their exploits as we are confident that they will represent Bermuda well.

“The second STEM initiative involves a partnership between the U.S. Consulate National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] and the Department of Education. The programme entitled GLOBE or Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment is currently associated with the Primary 5 level, at Paget Primary School.

“We commend STEM P5 teacher and Deputy Principal, Sonia Haley, along with Content Specialist Teacher for Science, Kali Douglas for their diligence and dedication in providing the leadership and guidance to our students.

“The teachers will showcase our Primary school GLOBE Atmospheric experiment at the GLOBE Annual Review taking place this summer in Denver, Colorado.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker,

I rise this morning to provide the Honourable members of this House an update on the Career Pathways and Career Technical STEM programmes being implemented by the Department of Education.

For those who may not be aware, STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. The STEM Program focuses on these areas together, not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success in the 21st century, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the ‘real world’ and in how some students learn most effectively.

Mr. Speaker,

Our students, supported by their parents/guardians, their teachers, school administrators and Department officers, have been exposed to many unique but challenging experiences; and have achieved impactful success during the academic year. This success extends from the summer Career Technical STEM programme that was first held last year in 2015.

Mr. Speaker,

For the upcoming 2016/17 academic school year, the Department of Education in collaboration with the Bermuda College has established an Applied Technology Programme. There will be 28 students from both CedarBridge Academy and the Berkeley Institute participating in this dual enrolment technology programme that merges five areas of exploration, namely:

  • 1. Construction Technology and Trades;
  • 2. Computer Aided Technical Drawing;
  • 3. Programming for Technicians;
  • 4. Electricity and Electronics; and,
  • 5. Engineering and Design

Mr. Speaker,

The offering of this programme is in alignment with the STEM educational philosophy of exposing and challenging students to explore and complete the core technical disciplines while enhancing their math, science, communication and computer skills. The learning experience for students will be the foundation that supports the completion of a STEM project associated with their field of interest.

Mr. Speaker,

Education in the STEM programme is a multifaceted, multidimensional international experience. Let me share two initiatives that are very much encouraging and I am sure that the Honourable Members of this House and the listening audience will agree. The first initiative acknowledges a team of students from the CedarBridge Academy who was successful in reaching the championship level in the STEMBOARD Solar Grand Challenge competition.

Mr. Speaker,

This competition is being hosted by DHL Worldwide Express and STEMBoard Partners in the Bahamas from July 17th to 22nd, 2016. It is offering student teams from the Bahamas, Bermuda and Cayman Islands an opportunity to create portable, low-cost solar energy solutions. Students from the winning team will earn up to $10,000 in prizes. Additionally, these students may see their ideas come to fruition and assist DHL Express reduce utility costs at its office facilities.

Mr. Speaker,

The success of our students building this mobile solar STEM unit is a direct outflow of a partnership with Bermuda College and industry partner Mr. Joseph Weeks, Owner of Combined Engineering Technologies. We all can appreciate the old adage that has proven to be consistent in my experience, that says’ “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” The combined knowledge and expertise of Mr. Weeks; Bermuda College instructor, Mr. Delroy Musson; and teacher Mr. Iman Gibbons, will steer the students and guide them through a prototype Solar building project at the Bermuda College, leading up to their departure to attend the Solar Grand Challenge in the Bahamas.

Mr. Speaker,

We applaud our students who are involved in this competition. The Bermuda team comprises CedarBridge Academy students Eric Wallace and Malachi Butterfield. We certainly wish them good success as they compete in the Bahamas; and, eagerly wait to hear of their exploits as we are confident that they will represent Bermuda well.

Mr. Speaker,

The second STEM initiative involves a partnership between the U.S. Consulate National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] and the Department of Education. The programme entitled GLOBE or Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment is currently associated with the Primary 5 level, at Paget Primary School.

We commend STEM P5 teacher and Deputy Principal, Sonia Haley, along with Content Specialist Teacher for Science, Kali Douglas for their diligence and dedication in providing the leadership and guidance to our students. The teachers will showcase our Primary school GLOBE Atmospheric experiment at the GLOBE Annual Review taking place this summer in Denver, Colorado.

Mr. Speaker,

Some of our middle and senior school teachers recently participated in a STEM pedagogy active learning experience. The event was facilitated by the Department of Education and the Bermuda College Tech Hall Department with assistance from overseas partners STEM Academy, Inc. or STEM 101.

Stem 101 is a non-profit thought leader, and a Provider of STEM education programs throughout the United States. This is a first-time collaborative STEM active learning programme that will be continued as we expand our efforts in implementing STEM Education.

STEM 101 will be supporting STEM teacher training development in Bermuda in those middle school teachers who participate in the programme, using the STEM curriculum in design & tech, math, and science will be expected to implement their acquired learning and apply the skills during the next school academic year and beyond. As you can see Mr. Speaker our students and teachers are developing in the understanding, knowledge and skills of Career Technical STEM Education.

Mr. Speaker,

When I last shared with this House about the Career Pathways initiative and the benefit of providing high school students with opportunities to gain meaningful experience in the workplace, I reported on the success with the Bermuda Insurance Institute’s General Insurance Certification.

As a result, I am pleased to say that Mr. Ray Brooks of Grey Castle Group, recently met with our Premier and Education Officer, Dr. Radell Tankard, who leads the Department’s Career Pathway & Certification initiative.

From this meeting, we are pleased that a six week summer Internship Programme for high school students will be held from July 11th to August 19th 2016. The Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers in affiliation with the Government will be encouraging high school students from the public school system to take advantage of this worthwhile opportunity.

Mr. Speaker,

There are a number of STEM summer camps that will operate between July 4th and July 26th, 2016. I encourage my Honourable colleagues and the listening audience to ‘save the date’- July 26th – and invest the time to visit the CedarBridge Academy and observe the showcase of knowledge, skills, technical giftedness, and artistic expressions of our public school students.

Mr. Speaker,

This continued success in the Career Pathways and STEM initiatives clearly outlines that we need to expand upon this interest and demand that is stimulating student inquiry and curiosity. As we have raised the interest of middle and senior school students with Career Technical STEM education, it is apparent that we need to increase this approach for all schooling and education. As such, we will diligently work towards this end. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Successisamust says:

    GREAT WORK Joseph Weeks,

    You are such an inspiration to the youth and community. It is awesome to see your work making such a huge impact. May you continue to shine and much success.

    Once again congrats on your design and teachings making it to the finals.

    -Wishing the students and all the best of luck!

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