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STEAM Education

Digicel Foundation Strengthens STEM Education at Spanish Town High with Donation of STEM Kits

BANNER (1080 x 720 px) (9)Kingston, Jamaica- June 21, 2023: Digicel Foundation is helping to improve students’ performances in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas with the donation of equipment and educational material to boost the Spanish Town High School’s science lab and STEM programme. 

The donation was made possible through a $3,000,000 partnership between the Digicel Foundation and the University of the West Indies (UWI) Building Out Our STEM Teachers (BOOST) programme.

Speaking at the handover ceremony held recently, Dr. Andre Coy, Associate Dean for External Engagement in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the UWI, Mona shared that the STEM kits will equip students with the tools and resources necessary to excel in the rapidly evolving fields of science and technology.

Dr. Coy said, "We get the best STEM teachers and we put them in schools that want to do STEM but don't necessarily have the resources to do so, they don't have the number of teachers they need and they don't have the equipment they need. The BOOST programme is aimed at nurturing these schools."

The donated equipment includes advanced robotics kits, scientific laboratory apparatus, computer programming tools, and interactive learning materials.

According to Dr. Coy, Digicel Foundation’s investment will contribute to the purchasing of STEM equipment benefiting participating BOOST schools across Jamaica. He said, "We recognized we needed a partner to help us with equipping the Science labs and the Digicel Foundation did not hesitate. Once they heard STEM, they said yes.”

The Acting Principal of Spanish Town High, Leopold Porter, expressed gratitude for the donation emphasising the transformative effect it will have on the students and the community. "Thank you so much for coming to Spanish Town High and for seeing a need and filling that need. This is where the village, the community, the businesses and institutions make a marked difference in their lives. That out of this kind gesture, even more interest in will be taken in their academics in STEM and they will be the better for it, Spanish Town as a community will be better for it," he said.

Meanwhile, Spanish Town High School Science Teacher and a UWI BOOST programme beneficiary, Shadae Smith, described her experience as ‘life-changing’. She expressed, “I have learned to be patient and how I can use little and stretch it to be so much. I have been nurturing the minds of young scientists while also growing and developing the passion and love I have for STEM."

Miguel 'Steppa' Williams, Director of Strategic Planning and Community Development at the Digicel Foundation said the equipment donation represents Digicel Foundation’s unwavering commitment to promoting equitable access to quality STEM education.

"STEM is something that is core in what we invest in. It’s good to invest in this level at the tertiary level, hitting the high school level, while we continue to work with the primary age, and continue to work across the community-based organizations."

The UWI BOOST programme was conceptualized by the Faculty of Science and Technology to enhance STEM education in Jamaica by providing a continuous stream of quality science and mathematics teachers through an innovative ‘back-end’ incentivized scholarship scheme.

The programme is being executed in collaboration with the National Baking Company Foundation, the Faculty of Humanities and Education, the Office of Student Financing, the Mico University College, the Students’ Loan Bureau, the Jamaica Teaching Council, the National Education Inspectorate, the American Friends of Jamaica, NCB Foundation and the Chemical Medical and Scientific Supplies Limited.

Digicel Foundation | Jamaica

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