IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp Closes with Successful Achievements

August 8, 2023  –Philipsburg, St Maarten – August 2, 2023: In this year’s IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp, 72 students from six Caribbean countries came together to focus on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aligning with the camp’s theme “Think it, Code it, Solve it.” Both Level I and Level II students worked on creating captivating websites and petitions in support of SDGs.

During the Camp, the Level I and Level II students collaborated on group projects that revolved around several critical SDGs, including Zero Hunger, Life Below Water, Good Health and Well-Being, Clean Water and Sanitation, Life On Land, Affordable and Clean Energy, and Zero Poverty.

International Game Technology (IGT) has successfully completed the third edition of its annual virtual summer program, the IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp, in collaboration with the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) at UWI.

The Camp took place from July 17 to July 28 and is a key component of IGT’s After School Advantage (ASA) Programme—a community initiative focused on providing young individuals with access to technology and promoting digital learning. MGI has actively contributed to the enactment of SDGs across 12 Caribbean countries through the development of decision support systems applications for governments.

Kevin Johnson, MGI’s Lead Tutor, expressed his admiration for all the students’ exceptional work in developing websites that effectively highlighted the SDGs in a creative and informative manner. He further highlighted the Level II students’ outstanding efforts in creating petitions that advocated for Accessible and Inclusive Healthcare For All, The Preservation Of Natural Ecosystems Through The Establishment Of Nature Parks, and Maintaining Law And Order In The World’s Oceans.

The theme of the Camp, “Think it, Code it, Solve it,” was designed to empower students as digital architects, enabling them to influence the future of the Caribbean through their exceptional abilities in critical thinking, innovation, and problem-solving.

A total of 72 students from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, St Maarten, St Kitts & Nevis, and the U.S. Virgin Islands participated in the Camp this year. These youngsters were chosen from non-government organizations that have benefited from IGT computer centres, generously provided through the ASA programme.

IGT has expanded its reach, with the recent addition of two new ASA computer centres at the Community Action Now (CAN) Romeo Malone Center, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and at The Credo Development Centre for Boys in Trinidad & Tobago respectively.

Dexter Thomas, General Manager of IGT Trinidad and Tobago, states that he is proud of the IGT team’s ability to offer a platform for youth development throughout the region, despite the challenges.

“We are truly delighted to welcome new participants as this reaffirms our mission of narrowing the digital divide and extending the programme to help meet the great need among our youth for access to digital learning,” said Thomas, who also congratulated all the students and the participants at the Camp’s conclusion.

Luke Buchanan, Senior Projects Manager at MGI, said that commencing a path towards a sustainable future begins with making a smart and economical investment in the nation’s youth, which ultimately translates to an investment in sustainable development.

He further encouraged the students to apply the skills they acquired during the Camp to create a positive impact on the world, urging them to harness technology to address challenges, innovate, and build connections.

“The IGT Caribbean Coding and Robotics Camps are perfectly aligned with both present and future needs, covering vital disciplines like robotics, artificial intelligence, coding, website development, geospatial sciences, and drone technology—essential for the world in the coming decades,” Buchanan said.

Shelly Ann Hee Chung, IGT Barbados and The Antilles’ Country Manager motivated the students to leverage their newfound competencies to keep pace with the swift currents of digital innovation.

“The IGT Caribbean Coding and Robotics Camps resonate with the immediate as well as prospective demands, encapsulating critical sectors such as robotics, artificial intelligence, coding, website development, geospatial sciences, and drone technology – cornerstones of the technological landscape of the future,” said Hee Chung.

The resounding success of the recently concluded IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp has propelled the team into immediate action, embarking on plans to further elevate the experience for next year’s event, drawing upon the invaluable lessons gleaned from this year’s transformative journey.

The third iteration of the IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp received glowing testimonials from the participants, with one of the alumni from the Learning Centre recently earning an opportunity to study Computer Science at the University of The West Indies Cave Hill Campus. IGT envisages the upcoming year’s Camp as a succession of meaningful digital interactions and eagerly anticipates the inauguration of a second ASA in Barbados in the coming year.

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