Categorized | National News

Bringing BETA Back!

The young Bahamian engineers, web developers and professionals of Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement (BETA) Group are aiming bigger and better as they seek to bring back their immensely successful engineering and technology summer camp for high school students.

Partnering with The Ministry of Education this year, the group plans for BETA Camp 2015 to have larger and more diverse enrolment and a wider curriculum in its sophomore year.

The free five-day summer camp, to be hosted July 13-18 at the College of the Bahamas, will run under the theme “Connecting Worlds: Stemming the bridge to the future.” Expanding on last year’s inaugural camp, this year’s program will accept 30 per cent more students and place higher focus on Family Island and public school enrolment, according to BETA co-founder and chemical engineer, D’André Wilson-Ihejirika.

“Last year’s camp was incredible, especially for an inaugural event, however this year we are looking to create a more electrifying experience for even more students,” said Ms. Wilson-Ihejirika. “We accepted 77 students last year, after aiming for 60, but this year we are increasing that number to 100. We hope to build on the 15 Grand Bahamian students we had last year and attract 20 Family Island students to this year’s camp. We have also noticed relatively low enrolment from public school kids and are looking into ways to work with our partner, the Ministry of Education, to boost those numbers.”
BETA will also be improving the curriculum, adding a new engineering discipline to its menu.

Students who attend the camp will be able to choose between seven science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) streams comprised of: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Information Technology and Web Development, Computer and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and the newest stream – Industrial Engineering.

Each Stream is taught by professional engineers and technologists with the assistance of well-informed student volunteers. The BETA group recruits qualified Bahamian university and college students to assist with teaching and preparing the dynamic laboratory-based sessions, while gaining experience working under knowledgeable professionals.

Students are also challenged with a multidisciplinary group project aimed at solving real problems facing The Bahamas.
Students are encouraged to use their technical and analytical skills to approach the problem from several angles and provide a comprehensive and multifaceted solution. Last year, students developed innovative solutions for coral reef preservation and Junkanoo parades, targeting the infamous long waits between groups.

BETA president, co-founder, and biomedical engineer Trenicka Rolle said the BETA team were ecstatic with last year’s results and were looking forward to reconvening in Nassau for another amazing camp.

“BETA Camp is the first of its kind in The Bahamas and it is definitely filling a need,” said Ms. Rolle. “Education is a prevalent concern for parents and citizens recently, and studies show that the critical thinking and analytical skills students acquire in STEM courses assist them throughout their other studies and later in their professional lives. It was amazing for all of us, who freely gave our time to participate, to see how engaged and excited the students were. In their feedback, parents and students rated the BETA camp experience at a 4.5 out of 5. We have hit the ground running to make this year’s a perfect five out of five.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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