Higher interest in science and technologies festival

Hundreds of patrons flocked to the grounds of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on Saturday, as the 2023 Science and Technologies Festival culminated.

Arlene Weekes, coordinator of the 3-day occasion, hailed it a accomplishment, saying it attracted thousands of persons considering that it opened on Thursday morning.

Weekes, who is the Innovation Officer with the Ministry of Market, Innovation, Science and Technologies (MIIST), told Barbados Now that the aim of the festival was to additional “popularize” and celebrate science and technologies.

“We are attempting to bring science to the persons. We want to popularize science and technologies. We want to demystify it and also we want to celebrate science, how it impacts our life mainly because each single point that we do has a genesis in science,” stated Weekes, who stated she was currently searching forward to the subsequent science and technologies festival.

This year’s occasion, which was held beneath the theme Innovation for Sustainable Living, offered the chance for kids and adults to engage and interact with the exhibits, which span quite a few places of science and technologies, such as artificial intelligence, agriculture coding and robotics.

There have been about 65 exhibitors from nursery, principal, secondary and tertiary mastering institutions, as nicely as representatives from the private and public sectors and non-governmental organisations.

“The response has been phenomenal. We have had thousands of college kids pass by means of more than the previous two days and currently parents are coming back and bringing back the kids mainly because they want to interact with the robot some extra, they want to do some extra coding and hands-on activities,” stated Weekes.

“We had a quantity of hands-on exhibits exactly where the kids came and produced different items – they produced ice cream, slime, bubbles beneath the tent and interacted with the robots and do coding and robotics. There was also animation, there was the flight simulator in the back and there was Patsy the Bajan avatar,” she reported.

The occasion, which was a collaboration involving the Faculty of Science and Technologies at the UWI, Cave Hill Campus and the Division of Science, Analysis and Innovation in MIIST, was birthed from the then SciTech Expo, which was held up to 2020, but had to cease due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and 2022.

“We are back out and up and operating,” Weekes declared, “We changed it mainly because we wanted to bring a diverse viewpoint. We are coming into the digital age,” she stated.

Exhibitors who spoke with Barbados Now stated they have been pleased with the interest from each kids and adults, adding that they have been confident the nation had a vibrant future in the Science, Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

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