WNY STEM Hub meets with Jamaica Minister of Education
At a meeting with the Jamaica Minister of Education, representatives of WNY STEM and the Buffalo Jamaica Innovation Enterprise (BJIE) met to discuss the STEM initiative for Jamaica. Present for the BJIE were Dr. Joe Whittaker, Dr. Relva Buchanan, Dr. Charles Anderson, Mrs. Beverly Joy and Dr. Michelle Kavanaugh. Among the representatives from the Ministry of Education were: Seymour Hamilton, Joan Higgins, Garfield King, Vivienne Pitter, Bernadette Ranglin, Daphine Simon, Jasmine Waite and Owen Wilson. The Minister explained that the Jamaican initiative included a STEM focus as early as the primary years and an effort to convert several secondary schools to STEM academies. The STEM focus cuts across all disciplines. Several items were identified for collaboration including the Jamaican team's interest in Robotics, funding opportunities and validation/certification for STEM education. There was interest in pursuing further communication between the groups.
In addition to the visit to the Ministry of Education, Drs. Buchanan, Kavanaugh, Anderson and Whittaker also met with representatives of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus School of Engineering. This is the first year of operation for this new four year program. Next year, it is anticipated that an engineering program will be established through the university that will employ students.