IGT Third Edition of Coding and Robotics Camp for Caribbean Youth

July 25, 2023   –Philipsburg, St Maarten – On July 20, 2023: International Game Technology (IGT), in collaboration with the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI), UWI, is pleased to announce the commencement of its highly anticipated third annual virtual summer camp across the Caribbean – the IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp, being held from July 17 to 28 under the After School Advantage (ASA) Programme.

This year’s Camp theme is, “Think it, Code it, Solve it.” The theme encapsulates the notion of students developing critical, innovative, and problem-solving skills in the digital age.

A total of 72 youth from St Maarten, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Kitts & Nevis, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago, are participating in the Camp.  They come from non-government organisations that IGT has equipped with state-of-the-art computer centres through its ASA Programme.

IGT continues to expand 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.

Shelly Ann Hee Chung, IGT Antilles General Manager, expressed the primary objective of the Camp as providing invaluable opportunities for digital learning and technological exposure to young individuals within the communities where IGT operates.

“Our aim is to provide our ASA students with marketable digital skills and stimulate their interest in technology as it is critical to keep up with its continuous evolution,” said Hee Chung.

Hee Chung extended a warm welcome to all the participants, representing prestigious organizations. She gave special recognition to the Romeo Malone Community Centre in St Croix, USVI and Credo Boys in Trinidad & Tobago as they are joining the Camp for the first time.

“We are also thrilled to have USVI as our newest participating country. This year, their students will take part in the Level I Camp,” said Hee Chung.

A Level II component was added to the existing Level I course in 2022. In that year, 36 students received introductory training, while another 36 received intermediate training. A total of 72 Caribbean youth have so far been equipped with knowledge in the coding and robotics disciplines since the Camp’s inception.

With a renewed commitment to excellence, this year’s Camp will reach 36 participants in each level. The morning sessions will focus on Level I training, while the afternoons are dedicated to Level II, over the two-week period.

Reflecting on the Camp’s previous achievements, Hee Chung acknowledged that the 2021 and 2022 survey findings indicated that the Camp is an appropriate model approach toward STEM learning in the region.

“I want to say thank you to our MGI partners, as their outstanding work has helped many students to go on further towards their careers in STEM fields,” said Hee Chung.

Dr. Ava Maxam, the Acting Executive Director at MGI, shed light on the virtual camp’s objective, which aims to introduce students to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explore innovative ways to employ technology in solving real-world problems.

“MGI through developments of decision support systems applications for governments has been directly involved in enacting SDGs across 12 countries of the Caribbean,” said Maxam.

She further explained that this Camp originated from a vision to utilize technology in attaining the United Nations SDGs and fostering a more promising future. The participants embarked on a coding endeavour entailing the design and construction of systems to enhance the reporting and monitoring of SDG indicators. This was achieved by collaborating closely with governments, NGOs, academia, and the public, to address these diverse challenges.

Since 2011, IGT and its subsidiaries have established 40 fully equipped After School Advantage computer labs across the English-speaking Caribbean, serving as vibrant learning centres for vulnerable young people. Emphasizing their commitment to empowering students, IGT has implemented various initiatives, including summer field trips, internships and training programmes to enhance technology awareness and equip them with vital skills for the evolving job market.

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