Caribbean STEM Coaching Club has great expectations
The Barbados High Commission in London was the prestigious venue of the launch of the 2017/18 program of the Caribbean STEM Coaching Club, a joint venture between the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology & Innovation (UK) (“CADSTI-UK”), the social enterprise Future Think, and the British Foundation of the University of the West Indies (“BFUWI”). Over 40 science, technology, engineering and Maths (STEM) professionals, parents and students gathered on Saturday 7th October to share insights and strategies to help Caribbean students develop strong STEM fundamentals.
The Club was the brainchild of Daryl Best, the former Chair of CADSTI-UK.
“When Daryl approached Future Think and BFUWI with the idea, we knew this was something we had to do,” said Future Think’s Penny Carballo-Smith. “The economy is changing fast. Artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics are transforming where we work, how we work and the work we do. Logic, computational skills, data analysis, and problem solving are now far more important in every industry sector than before. STEM, and in particular Maths, develop these skills, and open doors to an abundance of well-paid job opportunities. Yet here in the UK, the achievement levels of Caribbean children in STEM (and especially Maths) are worryingly low. We felt we had to do something.“
The Club strategically targets and strengthens areas of weakness, including students’ understanding of STEM concepts, study habits, revision strategies, and exam techniques. There is a strong focus on building emotional resilience and motivation, as well as on opening eyes to new and exciting career opportunities emerging in the jobs marketplace. STEM specialist teachers and a qualified parenting educator play key roles in shaping and delivering the program, alongside a number of high achieving STEM professionals and university students of Caribbean origin.
“We want our students to excel in exams but our ambitions and expectations are far greater,” said BFUWI’s Rawle Parris. “Our aim is to develop independent, life-long learners, with the right foundation and mindset to thrive in our fast changing, technologically advanced economy.”
“The Club has helped 23 Caribbean students and their parents since it got off the ground in early 2015, and we will be helping another 14 Caribbean students and their parents this year,” said CADSTI-UK’s current Chair George Marecheau. “Effective collaboration is at the heart of what we do. The three founders – CADTSI-UK, Future Think and BFUWI – work well together, and a number of STEM professionals, university students, specialist teachers and parents give freely and generously of their time and expertise. Once this continues, a significant number of Caribbean children and parents here in the UK will be helped.”
To find out more about the Caribbean STEM Coaching Club, please see CSCC or email firstname.lastname@example.org