Twenty six (26) children with disabilities have graduated after completing a Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Robotics training facilitated by the Guyana Council of Organisations for Persons with Disabilities (GCOPD) in partnership with ExxonMobil Guyana.
A simple ceremony was recently held at the auditorium of the David Rose Special Education Needs (SEN) school. Each participant was presented with a certificate of successful completion of the programme, while the outstanding participants were presented with “3D” printed medals.
The participants also displayed the robots they built during the programme. Another ceremony is scheduled for the remaining twenty seven (27) persons who participated in the programme. Speaking at the event, Ganesh Singh, Programme Coordinator of GCOPD expressed gratitude to ExxonMobil Guyana for funding the programme which has been in the pipelines for more than two years.
He also express gratitude to the members of the University of Guyana Robotics Club (UGRC). Also speaking at the graduation was Karen Matusic, ExxonMobil Guyana’s Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs and Farnaz Baksh, the Coordinator of the UGRC. The STEM programme for children with disabilities was piloted in five Special Education Needs (SEN) schools in Region 4.
Through the four month programme, the children were exposed to the STEM subjects using robotic technology. Additionally, the children were taught complex concepts using the technology which helped them to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
The participants also developed a higher level of environmental awareness, since the robotic kits were solar powered and utilized recyclable materials for the construction of the robots.
Each participant was given a tablet computer and a robotic kit. Plans are in place to replicate the programme in the other SEN schools across Guyana using virtual means.
GCOPD is the umbrella body that represents the majority of Disable People Organisations (DPOs) from across Guyana, working in the areas of advocacy and capacity building. The DPOs represent all types of disabilities.