CSF Computer Coding Workshop: St. Lucia

Introduction

Before you begin, please read the overview of the CSF Computer Coding Workshop for a more complete description

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 pilot workshop ran in Barbados ran on Saturday mornings from January 6 to March 31, 2018. The Workshop will now be replicated in St. Lucia owing to a new grant from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS.

Barbados Coding Camp Level I Inaugural Class, Instructors and sponsor’s representatives at opening ceremony 06Jan18

The goals of the CSF Computer Coding Workshops are to: (1) stimulate more student interest in science and engineering careers, (2) help get more students interested in going beyond programming into the field of computer science, (3) prepare students for university study in the STEM disciplines in general, (4) help address the challenge of increasing the low numbers of skilled ICT workers in the Region, and (5) encourage the formation of more globally competitive ICT companies. These goals are consistent with the overall CSF goals of helping to diversify the economies of the Region and raise the standard of living of the people by: (a) assisting with education reform to address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering, (b) helping to train the technology workforce of the future, and (c) helping to stimulate more technology-based entrepreneurship by grooming the next generation of Caribbean science and engineering leaders.

Targeted Groups in St. Lucia

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) Caribbean citizens of any age, (2) out-of-school and at-risk youth, and (3) disabled individuals. Secondary school science and mathematics teachers are also urged to apply.

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 workshop, as the CSF is unable to provide computers.

Workshop Structure, Schedule and Venue

In the Spring of 2019 the CSF Computer Coding Workshop St. Lucia will meet at the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School from 9:00 am to noon every Saturday beginning January 12, and concluding on March 30, 2019 with a public showcase by the participants. The Level I Workshops will focus on html and 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 addressed specific problems of interest to the teams.

Coding Camp Instructors (Leo-Neil Perry and Brandon Alleyne) assisting students

Workshop Curriculum

Level IA covers html only (website creation and development from scratch). Level IB focuses on mobile apps, but intermediate knowledge of html is required. 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)
Period      Topic

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
Wk4 – Introduction to Javascript Part 1 (arrays, objects, JSON)
Wk5 – Introduction to Javascript Part 2 (functions, DOM, manipulating the DOM with JavaScript)
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)
  • More and better paying jobs for Caribbean people
  • 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
  • Scale up and spreading of coding workshops into other Caribbean countries
  • 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 opens on November 15 and closes on Dec 15. 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 Participants

The Coding Workshop Admissions Committee will be responsible for selecting the participants. 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 of 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 who have to option to re-apply in a later year)
  • The date the application was received (early applications given preference over later ones)

Workshop Fees

The participant workshop fee of EC$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.

St. Lucian Instructors Needed: Application forms below

The CSF is currently seeking applications from qualified Instructors for the Level I and future Level II Workshops for the Spring of 2019 and beyond. A modest stipend is paid to the Instructors for the 12 Saturdays of the Workshop. Applicants for Level IA Instructor positions will be expected to have facility with principles of web design that would include experience with HTML, CSS, Javascript and WordPress. Applicants for Level IB instructor positions are expected to have experience with Codepen.io, Ionic Creator, AngularJS, Cordova and Foursquare.

In the near future we hope to run a level II Python-based workshop. 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 please fill out either the on-line Web-based application at

Web-based Caribbean Coding Workshop Instructor Application Form (preferred)

or the manual application which can be downloaded as a pdf or Word file via the two links below:

2019 Caribbean Computer Coding Workshop Instructor Application Form.pdf

2019 Caribbean Computer Coding Workshop Instructor Application Form.doc

Instructor application period closes on November 21, and in-person interviews will be scheduled for November 22nd and 23rd. 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.

Operating Partners

Key operating partners of the CSF are the Barbados Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).

Caribbean Science Foundation

CARICOM Research Building
UWI Cave Hill Campus
Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
Telephone: 1-246-417-7493
E-mail: csfhdq@gmail.com

For further information, please contact:
Prof. Cardinal Warde
warde.csf@gmail.com