The junior robotics camp which was held by the Caribbean Science Foundation concluded with a showcase at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus this afternoon.
The 58 children participating in the robotics class which is split into Levels one to three, demonstrated critical thinking strategies and showcased their robots completing various tasks.
Interim Director of the Caribbean Science Foundation Cardinal Warde said while there does not need to be a special school catering to robotics, it should be placed as a core subject on the school curriculum.
“Our goal is to sneak it in through the back door. We try to help with some after-school programmes because until the [Caribbean Examination Council] puts us on the syllabus, I do not think anything is going to happen,” Warde said, adding that part of the problem is that teachers teach what CXC instructs them to teach.
“That is why CXC is a partner and we are working together. I think [we can have] after-school programmes, robotics clubs and the like and then some schools will try to get it into the curriculum and we will help them and work with them,” he remarked.
Warde also highlighted that the Caribbean Science Foundation has already begun training teachers at Erdiston Training College about robotics and they have provided robots to the institution.
“We take these robots to Erdiston every year so they can train a few teachers. We are working within the school and teaching system. Long term, we would like to see it on the curriculum in all the schools in Barbados and the universities,” he said. He also hopes that the newly elected Barbados Labour Party Government will help implement robotics as a compulsory course in all primary, secondary and tertiary schools.
“Hopefully with this new Government, there will be more traction with the Ministry of Education. We do not force ourselves on anyone, but if the ministry knows we exist and if they want our help and think it is useful, we hope that they would come to us. You can take a horse to the water you cannot make it drink,” he said.
Warde added that the average cost of holding a robotics camp is approximately USD $40,000 but children attending the robotics camp are only required to pay $500 BDS. (LG)