One of the things I love about what I do is the chance to meet leaders and professionals from around the globe who are fostering STEM education.
Last month I was in Kingston, Jamaica, where I had the opportunity to be part of a discussion where several government ministry representatives, along with the director of the STEP Centre, a school in Kingston for children with disabilities, and professors from Lees McCrae College in western North Carolina came together to talk about STEM and citizen science work. I was struck once again with the realization that a focus on STEM education and the empowerment and equipping of our students to carry out the work of STEM is a global movement.
In the conference room at the STEP Centre, participants representing the National Commission on Science and Technology NCST, the National Environment and Planning Agency NEPA, the Ministry of Education MOE, the Scientific Research Council SRC, and the National History Museum of Jamaica shared common interests focused on STEM. Subjects of our conversation ranged from strategy and coordinating efforts to outdoor science labs and authentic citizen science work already underway.
Hands-on, STEM-focused, project-based learning was a theme throughout our conversation. We shared in our desire to move learning activities in this direction even as we understand the struggle to give time over and away from traditional methodology.
Jamaica’s NCST has two separate missions. The first is to improve science, technology and engineering, and the second one is to ensure that science and technology are used as tools to fulfill society needs. The leaders in this meeting are striving to meet those goals through science and technology immersion and a focus on citizens connecting and interacting directly with the world of STEM.