On Jan 28-29, 2015, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Caribbean Academy of Sciences (CAS) collaborated to host the first in a series of STEM training workshops for Regional primary school teachers. The workshop took place at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown, St. Vincent, and 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 St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The aims of the workshop were to: (1) have teachers expand their understanding of the nature of science, science education and how students learn science, (2) identify strategies, resources and activities for Inquiry and STEM-based science teaching, and (3) increase the confidence of teachers in their planning, teaching and assessing inquiry based approaches. Identification of further knowledge and skills needed to feel competent in the teaching of inquiry based science was an additional focal point. It was also anticipated that a network of colleagues would be further developed, in order to provide support in innovation regarding the teaching of science.
Twenty teachers from Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines took part in two exciting days of stimulating lectures, interactive and engaging hands-on experimentation using readily available materials, and were introduced to the use of UNESCO micro-science kits, which provide miniature versions of functional science lab apparatus. The training they 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 Ministry of Education Guyana, Dr. Bhuall Kumar- Professor, Columbia University, and chief facilitator Dr. Rowena Kalloo – University of Trinidad and Tobago.
It is anticipated that when these teachers return to their home countries and school communities, they will serve as ambassadors and share their knowledge with their colleagues and students. Feedback from the participants indicated that they found they found the sessions informative, relevant, productive, thought provoking and fun.
Future workshops are planned for Antigua, Barbados and Jamaica. For more information please visit http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/stem_teacher_training_workshops.php