February 24, 2021
With the support of the Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE) and Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement Camp (BETA Camp), Bahamian students are getting a personal look at how engineers create the world that has never been. From February 22 – 27, BSE is observing National Engineers Week by hosting a series of presentations for public and private school students across the country in partnership with BETA Camp and The Bahamas Ministry of Education.
This unique digital event, which was launched under the theme “Imagining Tomorrow,” is introducing primary and secondary school students to different branches of the engineering profession and the many subdisciplines in which they can specialize. Each presentation features a Bahamian engineer teaching students and educators about what engineering is all about, what it takes to become an engineer, and what engineers do. Through the facilitation of the Ministry of Education, 15 Bahamian engineers will make 22 presentations to primary and high school students from 27 participating schools this week. Three of the presenters are engineers from the Ministry of Works.
“We’re very excited to partner with BETA Camp, the Ministry of Education, and Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. to do something different to mark our professional week this year,” said Quentin Knowles, BSE President. “We have over 200 members who are at various stages in their professional careers, so the presentations that the students will receive this week will offer great variety in terms of the advice and knowledge presented. The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to think differently about how we could make an impact this year, so hosting a digital event enables us to bring students from around The Bahamas and Bahamian engineers working at home and abroad together. We have been able to connect with so many more students than we might have if we had hosted these presentations in person, which is particularly important when trying to ensure that students in the Family Islands are included in our activities. Our goal was to reach as many students as possible.”
The experience of the presenters spans a wide range of engineering specializations including civil, structural, geo-technical, coastal, oceanographic, electrical, mechanical, environmental, and chemical engineering, building services, and telecommunications.
Trenicka Rolle and D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika, co-founders of BETA Camp, shared their excitement about introducing a new crop of students to the world of engineering through this event. ‘Some of the students who will experience this week’s presentations have attended our BETA Camp summer engineering program and have a strong interest in engineering, but through this event we are connecting with so many kids who don’t know anything about what we do but may find a match for their interests,” suggested Ms. Rolle. “It’s exciting to be able to share elements of our BETA Camp program with students during the school year through this partnership. We hope this collaboration leads to more opportunities to expose young Bahamians to the beauty of engineering through the STEM Revolution.”
Mrs. Wilson-Ihejirika described the culmination event, which will be held online on February 27. “We’ve created an entertaining and educational online STEM Scavenger Hunt specifically for this week. The challenge will require the students to work in groups while considering the principles of engineering design, applying engineering thinking, and using their problem-solving skills as they analyze the clues. They’ll need to recall much of what they learned during the presentations to be successful.” Students have signed up to participate in the scavenger hunt through the Ministry of Education.
Lionel Turnquest, Director of Projects & Facilities at Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., and a presenter on Saturday morning, applauded the cooperation between the groups. “The benefits of these kinds of opportunities to young minds are immeasurable. As a BSE member, I am very proud of the growing community of industry professionals that our organization has developed to ensure that Bahamian engineers support each other. It is also critical for us to assist in the development of the next generation of Bahamian engineers through these types of joint ventures. At Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., we have many Bahamian engineering professionals working and consulting on our project in various capacities. The number of Bahamians working on projects like these will continue to grow depending on the seeds we plant with the students of today.