Gore Developments Limited lends a helping hand
INE MORE of the island’s high schools will receive a major boost to their science programmes with the gift of state-of-theart Mobile Science Labs from the Digicel Foundation.
Already, 32 schools have been outfitted with the modern facilities, and now nine others will enjoy the benefits of science lessons with their own wellequipped mobile labs.
The announcement of the nine beneficiaries was made at the José Martí Technical High School in St Catherine recently at the launch of Phase Three of the foundation’s Mobile Science Lab programme which began in 2014.
With the completion of phases one and two of the programme, more than 3,000 students in grades seven to nine in 32 schools mainly in town centres now have lab access on a regular basis.
The programme has helped to address the challenges of space, resources and technology that Jamaica’s education sector faces. This low-cost solution provides a simple yet effective opportunity for schools to convert any space into a scientific environment with tools that teach physics, biology and chemistry.
The units are accompanied by a Mimio device, which allows teachers to turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard. Additionally, the standard lab tools – beakers, microscopes, test tubes, trolleys, pipettes, funnels, scalpels and flasks — are included.
Increased access to science labs has been a factor in the improvement of the results of the 2016 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. The highest percentage increase of 12.3 per cent was recorded in biology, and there were improvements in human and social biology of 4.9 per cent, and in physics, of 0.7 per cent.
Head of the Science Department at the José Martí Technical High School, Lenford Johnson, was pleased at the improvement that he has seen in the grades of the students who have been introduced to the mobile science lab. TUSHUN GREEN representing Gore Developments Limited (GDL) handed over a cheque valued at $100,000 to Virginia Chin of the Cassava Piece Development & Education Centre/CDEC (formerly known as HELP/Help Establish Library Projects in Jamaica) on Wednesday, November 2. The money was a much-needed infusion of funds to help keep the CDEC’s doors open.
Chin, who runs the well-kept, colourful and safe space in the sometimes troubled community, was very happy for the assistance as she endeavours to keep HANDS-ON LEARNING:
“The impact and feedback have been tremendous as the lab has generated a lot of interest among the students, and we see marked improvements in their grades, so we are very grateful to be a part of this excellent initiative,” Johnson said.
According to chairman of the Digicel the centre, which has come a long way under her guidance, operational. Starting out as a basic classroom for local children to be safe while doing homework after school hours, it has blossomed into a haven for both children and adults to learn and be creative in the fields of Imformation Technology (IT), art, sports and music.
NOT TOO LATE
The centre consists of an open general reading area with a well-stocked library (courtesy of donors) that includes quality books for children of all ages on history, science and business, Foundation, Jean Lowrie-Chin, the continuation of the programme has reinforced the organisation’s mandate to create more opportunities for practical teaching and learning experiences around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in secondary schools. with a focus on writers from the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas. As well as providing a safe, clean, environment for supervised study, it provides assistance to children from six -18 and adults of all ages. It is never too late to enrol in the literacy and numeracy classes on offer. CDEC now boasts a small, wellkept computer lab, with a professional from HEART on hand who volunteers his time and considerable IT expertise to all those willing to learn.
GDL, as keen sponsors of scholarships at the secondary and tertiary levels, was more
“The foundation recognises that the way forward for our youth is to equip them with efficient and forwardthinking tools in order for them to improve life as we know it through science and technology. We are happy to be providing so many schools with these labs, which will aid their teaching than happy to lend a hand and glad to see such a vibrant project standing firm in Cassava Piece; process significantly,” Lowrie-Chin said.
In the third phase of the project, Annotto Bay, Fair Prospect, Bog Walk, Mile Gully, Lacovia, Hopewell, Merlene Ottey and Albert Town and Brown’s Town high schools will benefit in this academic year. to encourage local residents and those from the surrounding community (some from as far as Stony Hill) to study, learn new skills or volunteer to help out as well.
Meschica Dixon (left), student council vice-president; Altimont Luke (centre), second deputy head boy; and Digicel Foundation Board Director Patrick King undertake an experiment using tools from the Mobile Science Laboratory at the launch of phase three of the Mobile Science Lab Programme at the José Martí Technical High School in St Catherine on Thursday, November 17.