SYAH’s SySTEM bootcamp a success during school holidays | 30 May 2019
During the April school holidays, 14 Secondary 3 and 4 students embarked on the Seychellois Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (SySTEM) programme.
As Seychelles continues to modernise, efforts are focusing on creating more value addition in the existing pillars of our economy, while also pursuing innovative methods for the sustainable development of our ocean economy.
To help achieve these aims, an increase in the number of people pursuing STEM knowledge and expertise is required.
Launched by the Sids Youth AIMS Hub-Seychelles (SYAH-SEZ), a youth-led NGO promoting sustainable development, SySTEM aims to inspire and attract young people towards a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Following an open call for applications, 14 students from secondary schools across the country, namely Anse Boileau, Ecole Française, Independent, Mont Fleuri and Pointe Larue, were selected to participate.
The three-month after-school programme, funded by the the embassy of the United States of America for Mauritius and Seychelles, started with a one-week STEM Bootcamp. The Bootcamp comprised full day sessions whereby the participants attended a combination of classroom activities and field trips.
Hosted at the Independent School, the classroom sessions entailed physics classes where students learned about electricity, electrical circuits and started building their own radio transmitter.
Another session concentrated on mathematical strategies that can be used to tackle math problems under exam conditions, especially when sitting for the Australian mathematics competition.
Students also had the opportunity to build and programme their own robot.
To raise awareness on the career opportunities available in STEM in Seychelles, the participants visited several STEM organisations.
Participants went on field trips to PUC where they visited the Power Station, the desalination plant and wind farm. On subsequent days, they proceeded on field trips to the Seychelles Bureau of Standards and Indian Ocean Tuna.
Project coordinator of SySTEM, Kalsey Belle, commented:
“One of the aims of the programme is to enable students to interact with young STEM professionals. This interaction not only allows them to learn about their day-to-day job, but it inspires them to realise that no matter how difficult a subject may seem, we all started somewhere and through perseverance and determination your targets can be achieved. Participants were impressed by the people they met and we are immensely grateful to all the organisations who hosted us.”
Over the next few months, the students will be attending half-day sessions on Saturdays which will entail further classroom activities to prepare them for the Australian mathematics competition, career talks from young STEM professionals, interactive practical sessions, as well as field trips.
During the August holidays, participants will undertake an internship in STEM organisations to obtain hands-on work experience in a STEM career.
Two SySTEM participants, Andrea Ranaivonirina and Emily Walter, shared the following: “So far the programme has been interesting and fun. We have had the opportunity to learn about different careers aspect and visit places that are not readily accessible to the public.”
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the activities during the April Bootcamp.