CSF Computer Coding Workshops: Barbados
Before you begin, please read the overview of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops for a more complete description
The knowledge-based workforce of the future will be heavily dependent on computer coding skills. By not sufficiently developing computer programming skills in its population, Caribbean countries are unable to take full advantage of their potential to build a modern-day workforce, and to diversify their economies. In order to help the Caribbean catch up with other developed countries, beginning in January 2018, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), Scotiabank, and the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS partnered to launch a set of computer coding workshops in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The goals of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops are to: (1) stimulate more interest in science and engineering careers, (2) help address the challenge of increasing the low numbers of skilled ICT workers in the Region, (3) help train the technology workforce of the future (especially retraining of retrenched workers), (4) stimulate more technology-based entrepreneurship by encouraging the formation of more globally competitive ICT companies, (5) help get more students interested in going beyond programming into the field of computer science, and (6) help prepare the younger students for university study in the STEM disciplines.
These goals are consistent with the overall CSF goals of helping to diversify the economies of the Region and thereby raise the standard of living of the people. Thus, CSF projects have a long-term focus on stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship, and grooming the next generation of Caribbean science and engineering leaders.
Targeted Groups in Barbados
Because of limited resources, total enrollment in the 2019 pilot Workshops will be limited to about 20 participants per session. Applicants must be Caribbean citizens. Persons less than 15 years old on January 1, 2019 are not eligible to apply to the January Coding Workshops. Similarly, persons less than 15 years old on September 1, 2019 are not eligible to apply to the September Coding Workshops. Girls are especially invited to apply. Other targeted applicants are: (1) retrenched workers, (2) out-of-school and at-risk youth, and (3) disabled individuals, and (4) secondary school science and mathematics teachers.
Only candidates who are serious about computer programming and/or computer science should apply, as these workshops are mathematically rigorous and homework will be assigned each week. These are not camps where children come predominantly to have fun, but serious fast-paced workshops. Candidates who are not prepared to do homework and some learning on their own (or in teams) should not apply, as they will probably not be able to keep up with the class. Playing of video games, social media interaction, Website browsing unrelated to the Workshop, and other distracting or disruptive activity while at the Workshop may result in expulsion. Please note that Workshop participants are expected to bring their own computers (that meet our minimum specifications) to the camp, as the CSF is unable to provide computers.
The Spring 2018 Level I pilot of the CSF Computer Coding Camps was held in Barbados and ran from January 6 to March 31 with 12 participants. The Fall 2018 offering ran from Sept 29 to December 15, 2018 and served 19 participants. In the Spring of 2019 the Barbados Computer Coding Workshop met from 9:00 am to noon every Saturday beginning January 5, and concluded on March 23, 2019 with a public showcase by the students. The Fall 2019 Barbados Coding Workshop is expected to run from September 21 to Dec 14, 2019. Application forms will be posted here around July 31, 2019
Level I Workshop Curriculum
Level I covers html only (website creation and development from scratch), and introduces mobile apps. The first half of the syllabus developed basic coding skills. In the second half, the participants formed teams, and the teams focused on the development of simple Websites and mobile Apps that address specific problems of interest to them.
A preliminary syllabus for the Levels IA and IB Workshops is shown below. Topics in this syllabus are subject to change at any time.
Preliminary Syllabus (levels IA and IB)
Wk1 – Registration
– Opening ceremony
– Principles of web design
– Introduction to HTML & CSS Part 1 (Paragraphs, text, Lists)
– Using Codepen.io
Wk2 – Introduction to HTML & CSS Part 2 (Tables, Forms, Stylesheets, Bootstrap)
– Introduction to Ionic Creator
– Using Ionic Creator (creator.ionic.io)
Wk3 – Showcase Preparation – Simple Ionic App
Wk6 – Introduction to AngularJS Part 1
Wk7 – Introduction to AngularJS Part 2
Wk8 – Showcase Preparation – Simple JS App
Wk9 – Using Cordova and Ionic
– Adding Cordova Plugins Part 1
Wk10 – Adding Cordova Plugins Part 2
– Using APIs Part 1 (Google Maps, Facebook)
Wk11 – Adding Cordova Plugins Part 3
– Using APIs Part 2 (Foursquare, WordPress)
Wk12 – Showcase Preparation and rehearsal
Wk13 – Showcase & Closing Ceremony
Anticipated Benefits of the Coding Workshops
- A raised awareness and increase opportunities for more persons to consider science and engineering as career options
- Students and adults becoming more literate in computer coding and being able to apply these skills to enhance their future academic studies
- Better preparation of our students for university study in the STEM disciplines
- A more appropriately trained future knowledge-based workforce – more graduates with enhanced skill sets and qualifications obtaining entry level positions in the workplace (especially at-risk youth)
- Promotion of more technology based entrepreneurship
- More self-employment opportunities for our youth
- Eventually the formation of more globally competitive ICT companies that could bring in more foreign exchange
- Regional mobilization onto a path to catch up with the more developed countries in the ICT areas
- Ignition and nurturing of the inventiveness in our youth so that the next “Google” has a reasonable probability of coming out of the Caribbean
Participant Application Forms
The participant application period for Barbados has been extended to Dec 31, 2018 despite the date shown on the application forms. The participant application date for St. Lucia remains at December 15, 2018. Please note that the same basic application form is used for both the Barbados and the St. Lucia Workshops. Please check the appropriate box for your country at the top of the application form. Also note that there are 4 sections to the application. All applicants must complete Section 0, sign it and return it by e-mail to the CSF, in addition to submitting the Web-based remaining Sections 1-3. Applications without Section 0 will be rejected.
When submitting Section 0, please name your attachment to reflect its contents. We suggest you name your attachments using the following format “2019 CCW application-your country-your first name-your last name-section 0”. Attachments with file names such as “scan 001” could cause your attachment to be misfiled. If this happens your application will be deemed incomplete.
Section 0 can be downloaded from the link below:
CCW 2019 Participant Application Form – Section 0
The remaining Sections (1-3) can be accessed and filled out on-line at the link below:
CCW Participant Web-Based Application Form – Sections 1-3 only.
Applications without Section 0 will be rejected.
Selection Criteria for Levels IA and IB Students
The Coding Workshop Admissions Committee will be responsible for selecting the campers. Because of budget and space limitations, the Committee will limit the number of participants in each workshop level. Only complete applications that arrive before the application deadline will be considered. Also, the lower age limit and the citizenship requirement will be strictly enforced. Thereafter, applications will be selected taking the following factors into consideration in decreasing order or importance:
- The Admissions Committee’s assessment of the applicant’s interest and passion for STEM based on the submitted materials
- The age of the applicant (qualified older applicants may be given preference over younger applicants)
- The date the application was received (early applications given preference over later ones)
The participant workshop fee of BD$200 helps to offset the costs of running the workshops. For participants who are unable to pay in full at the beginning of the workshop, arrangements can be made for weekly or monthly payments. A workshop T-shirt and snacks are included in this fee.
Barbados Instructors Needed: Application forms below
It is hoped to offer a Python-based Level II workshop in the near future. For Level II Instructor applicants, facility with Python is expected. Level II Instructors will be expected to have some experience with the application of coding to video games, programming Raspberry Pis and micro-controllers for the control of machines (robots, drones, appliances, and the Internet of Things) as well as to the processing of big data using machine learning algorithms.
To apply for an Instructor position (at any time of the year) please fill out either the on-line Web-based application at
or the manual application which can be downloaded as a pdf or Word file via the two links below:
The completed forms should be e-mailed back to the CSF headquarters along with the other requested documents. Our needs vary with time, as we add more sections and more Workshop levels, so we can keep your application on file if a position is not immediately available.
Key operating partners of the CSF are the Barbados Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).