NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement’s (BETA) sixth annual STEM-based summer camp came to an end on Saturday, August 3, 2019, with a closing and award ceremony on the grounds of Aquinas College at Loyola Hall. The commemoration honored the works and achievements of this year’s campers and camp facilitators during its one-week program.
Of the camp itself, Camp Facilitator and Civil Engineer Deshinka Bostwick says: “This year’s camp was extremely impressive with Family Island student participation. We tried, in the Civil Engineering stream, to have corporate engagement and this year was no exception. We had participation from Integrated Building Services Limited, Caribbean Coastal Services Limited, Atametrics Limited, and the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
“Students were able to make the connection from the STEM fields being taught, to the actual careers that use these principles. We tried to engage the students in problem solving activities that would foster their creativity and build their soft skills through team projects. This year’s BETA Camp was exciting, interesting, and full of personality. I hope the students took it all in, processed it, and use it during their academic year.”
STEM, w hich stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, based learning is a major proponent of why non-profit organization BETA decides to host this camp yearly, according to Edison Hanchell, BETA Director, Camp Instructor and Systems Engineer and Web Developer. He says it is important that students see there is a career in STEM and that studying any form of the disciplines will not be “time wasted” or spent in vain.
“It can be discouraging not seeing that representation in the field you’re passionate about, as I’m sure my colleagues would agree. So for us, forming BETA was essential to eliminating that void,” he says.
“I am very proud of the outcome of this year’s camp, especially with the number of Family Island students who showed up and out for the one-week program. This year, we tried to shake things up a bit by introducing a new stream apart from the regular elements of civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and software engineering. With our theme for the year being: ‘Cruise Control: Innovating the Bahamian Maritime Industry’, we decided to offer coastal engineering as an elective for students and partner up with Caribbean Coastal Services Limited to do so. It was interesting to see what students came up with, but I’m certain these projects fueled them to think outside the box and that is what engineering, in fact, BETAC, is all about.”
The success of BETAC 2019 could not have been made possible without the generous donations of all our patrons, namely: Doctors Hospital, Disney Cruiselines, Grand Bahama Port Authority, Bahamas Medical and Surgical Supplies Limited, Western Air, Water and Sewerage Corporation, Sun Oil Limited, Sawyer’s Fresh Market, Bahamas Waste, Lyford Cay Foundation, Cloud Carib, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and The TK Foundation.
LaSonya Missick, Managing Director and Head of Personal Banking of RBC Royal Bank (Bahamas) Limited, BETAC’s platinum sponsor for this year says: “RBC Royal Bank is proud to lend our support as a platinum sponsor for 2019 to The Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement Camp. Part of our commitment to helping our communities prosper includes making important investments in the next generation of Bahamian entrepreneurs, job creators, and leaders. That is why we are thrilled to be part of this special event.
“Our signature education programme, RBC Future Launch, is built on the need to prepare students and young people for a changing world of work and the new digital economy in which we all live. BETAC aligns with RBC Future Launch by bringing together some of the country’s best and brightest young minds to come up with tangible solutions to some of the real-world issues facing The Bahamas today. BETAC encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork all while connecting young people to the networks and resources they need to succeed. This is an important and exciting event and I know it will be an incredible experience for all who attend it.”
Esther Blair, Administrator and Bahamian Program Officer of The TK Foundation, diamond sponsor for BETAC 2019 says: “The TK Foundation is pleased to support young students from the Family Islands to attend the BETA Camp and expand their horizons for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. We further encourage all participants to embrace their challenges, push beyond the inevitable failures, reach back and pull their peers forward.”
The Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement continues to cultivate the next generation of STEM leaders through initiatives like BETAC and its Youth Hack-A-Thon held earlier in the year. Its hope for next year is that the program would expand wider and seek to introduce a new stream to one of its other disciplines within the realms of science, technology or mathematics.