Antigua added! More students learn coding with IGT camp

The narrative that “doctor, lawyer, bank manager” are the main careers available to Caribbean students after school continues to be a thing of the past, as IGT successfully hosted a Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp for Tier II participants with Tier I should start soon.

We are sure that the new group starting the introductory course in August will end up with an even bigger appetite for the next level.

IGT established the regional virtual learning camp in 2021 with an introductory offer through its After School Advantage (ASA) centers in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. For 2022, this number has been increased to include Antigua as a new participating country. IGT Coding and Rock Robotics! The camp engages young participants ages 11-18 from IGT After School Advantage Centers in Antigua, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The young participants recently completed the Intermediate Level II course of IGT’s Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp, and anticipation is high for students entering its Level I Introductory Course in a few weeks.

IGT’s regional director for the Caribbean, Brendan Hames, said the project has grown tremendously since its inception. “We are excited to renew this vital exercise and see many of the young participants in the initial cohort move into new areas of digital knowledge and skills,” he said. “We are sure that the new group starting the introductory course in August will end up with an even greater appetite for the next level of the course.”

Dr. Ava Maxam, Acting Executive Director of the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, said the institute believed that the Intermediate Level II training had helped instill in young people a appreciation of the potential for them to launch careers in coding and robotics.

“We were able to provide students with a clear idea of ​​the opportunities that are now available given the evolution of technology,” she commented. “And we know that will be an inspiration to them.”

Education Specialist Nalini Ramsawak-Jodha of UWI, St Augustine Campus, who provided advice on program development to the MGI team, noted that the right mix of fun and learning was taken into account in the design of the program to engage students in discussion and action regarding the regions. growth and sustainability in line with the Camp theme, “Youth Coding for a Sustainable Caribbean”.

“This year’s course design has been carefully structured to achieve the program’s purpose and meet the needs of all participants with varying learning styles and interests. The topic of regional sustainability being related to coding and robotics is a very broad topic. We had to make sure that the lessons were small, which would inspire students to want to learn and actively engage in all aspects of the training,” she said.

While integrating the HTML, CSS and JavaScript tools of the Level I course, the Level II course, offered in two modules, trained students in more complex web development and design functions, and also provided them with an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI), encompassing a brief history of the technology and moving on to many of today’s most prevalent applications, including voice, speech recognition, and autonomous vehicles. Students had to pass a written exam and a practical assessment for each of the modules. Among the areas of testing were: basic terms in AI; real-world applications of AI; and AI applications in the electronics industry.

During the practical assessment, students had to create a website; introduce themselves and/or present their area of ​​interest on the page; to break down the different sections of the website and create a web page for one or more of each of the categories from the previous page created. A group project focusing on the development of intercultural websites was also assigned and evaluated (historic sites, sports sites, etc.) as well as an exercise focusing on CSS.

IGT, through its ASA program, has always played a leading role in improving access to technology and internet connectivity for young people in underserved communities. Since 2011, IGT and its subsidiaries have opened some 39 ASA computer labs in the English-speaking Caribbean. Through this and other initiatives, IGT aims to continually improve students’ technological awareness and thus prepare them to contribute to the social and infrastructural development of the Caribbean.

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