The Scientific Research Council (SRC) has, so far, opened science laboratories in four of eight participating primary and secondary schools in its Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean (INVOCAB) project.
The INVOCAB, being done in conjunction with the Trinidadian agency National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST), is geared towards helping students improve performance in science and technology subject areas.
The SRC hosted the opening of the science resource centres at Greater Portmore High School in St Catherine and Seaward Primary and Junior High School in Olympic Gardens, St Andrew, on Thursday.
Project manager for INVOCAB, Tamika Drummond, said the schools have been provided with several kits, scientific instruments and apparatus which will allow the students to have hands-on experience with science material during lessons.
We want to allow them to see that science and technology is not an abstract topic, but is something that they can relate to in everyday life. So, we want to break it down for these students and get them excited about the subjects,” she said, following the commissioning ceremony at Seaward Primary and Junior High.
Laboratories at Horace Clarke High in St Mary and Windsor Castle All-Age in Portland were commissioned in August. The other participating schools are Bull Bay All-Age and Yallahs High in St Thomas; Belle Castle Primary and Infant in Portland; and Carron Hall High in St Mary. Eight schools in Trinidad and Tobago have also been supported through the project.
“It is our hope that providing the schools with these things will greatly assist the teachers and the students to achieve better results in their examinations,” Drummond said.
As part of the three-year project, which began in 2013, two professional development workshops for teachers were also conducted for the participating schools. Workshops focused on preparing teachers to creatively deliver science and technology lessons so students can be engaged. Camps have also been held over the two past summers, which had students engaged in a range of activities in the subject areas.
The project, valued at $130 million, is supported by the European Union and the Government of Jamaica. The Government has also donated $30,000 to each participating school to provide security for the labs. Local partners of INVOCAB include the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech); The Mico University College and Church Teachers’ College.