May 1, 2015
CSF and CAS Host STEM Teacher Training Workshop in Antigua
The second in a series of Regional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) teacher training workshops for primary school teachers took place at the Multi-Cultural Centre, in St. John’s, Antigua, on April 20-21, 2015. The STEM training workshop was offered by the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS). The workshop was made possible by grant funding from the Embassy of the United States of America to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, as well as through the cooperation of the Ministry of Education of Antigua and Barbuda.
The workshop was opened by the Honorable Michael S. Browne, Esq., Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Antigua and Barbuda, who welcomed the delegates. The teachers who were chosen to benefit from this training are all actively involved in the teaching of science, are passionate and committed to its delivery and willing to try new and innovative ways of teaching science in their classrooms. The aim is to improve the way in which STEM subjects are taught by championing Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Inquiring Based Science Education (IBSE) as effective delivery tools. Ultimately, a database of thus trained Regional science teachers will be created, where peer support can be provided and resource materials shared.
Thirty-five teachers from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines participated in the two-day training, and all spoke highly of the training. The highlights were deemed to be the exposure to the hands-on experimentation using readily available, low cost materials, and to the UNESCO micro-science kits which contain miniaturized and fully operational lab equipment. Each teacher received a complete micro-science kit at the end of the training, and all committed to implementing their use in their respective schools.
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Primary school teachers in hands-on STEM training session at the Antigua Workshop
The teachers assumed the role of student for the duration of the workshop, allowing them to view science through the eyes of their young charges. They came away reinvigorated with heightened awareness that teaching science can be fun, interactive and fulfilling for both teacher and student.
The training the teachers received was delivered by facilitators: Professor Winston Mellowes, Professor Emeritus, UWI St. Augustine; Professor Theodore Lewis, Professor Emeritus, UWI St. Augustine; Mrs. Petal Jetoo, National Science Coordinator in Ministry of Education Guyana; Dr. Bhuall Kumar, Professor, Columbia University; and chief facilitator Dr. Rowena Kalloo of the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
Future workshops are planned for Barbados and Jamaica (Kingston and Montego Bay). For more information please visit http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/stem_teacher_training_workshops.php