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Full STEAM Ahead: Engineering Creativity in Primary and Secondary School Education

Digital Yard Foundation and the University of Technology (UTech) Partner to Engineer a New Jamaica using Robotics

KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 17, 2013 – Digital Yard Foundation, in partnership with the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), will host its first Robotics Symposium on Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10am – 2pm, at the Alfred P. Sangster Auditorium located at the University of Technology, Jamaica. This free event will feature a panel discussion, robotics demonstrations and student presentations. The panel discussion will be focused around the theme of the symposium - Full STEAM Ahead: Engineering Creativity in Primary and Secondary School Education – and will include notable speakers such as Erica Simmons, Global Marketing Manager, Energy and Utilities, Industry Automation Division at Siemens Industry, Inc. Demonstrations will be facilitated by UTech engineering students who are also interns with Digital Yard. These students have also facilitated robotics mentoring sessions within high schools since January 2013 preparing them to establish their own Robotics Club.
Other presentations will be facilitated by the finalists from the foundation’s inaugural Poster Presentation Contest that invites students to show how robotics can be applied to the shipping and logistics industry. This contest is rooted in the Digital Yard Foundation’s mission to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programs among Primary and Secondary school students in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The Digital Yard Foundation’s Robotics Initiative is a starter programme combining STEAM and Competition using Robots that students will design, build and program. Dubbed a "varsity sport for the mind”, Robotics combines the excitement of sports with the rigors of science and technology. Through the Robotics Initiative, students will:
  * Design, build, and program robots to perform tasks.
  * Apply real-world engineering, math and science concepts.
  * Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills.

Founded in 2010, the foundation’s mission was inspired by Erica Simmons in collaboration with members of the Jamaican secondary school alumni movement based in New York City. Erica, a Global Marketing Manager with Siemens, the global technology giant, facilitated in 2009 and 2011 respectively, the donation of CAD/CAM/CAE software valued at over US$150M to Northern Caribbean University (NCU) and University of Technology (UTech). Digital Yard Foundation was thus formed to extend proficiency in such software applications to the secondary school level, and later, the primary school level. This is the cornerstone of the Digital Yard Foundation development strategy.

About Digital Yard Foundation:

Digital Yard Foundation is focused on helping Jamaica reach developed nation status by 2030 through the deployment of innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes. (www.digitalyardfoundation.org)

About University of Technology, Jamaica:

The University is committed to the total education of the individual as a social being and seeks to develop the whole person in terms of personal well-being and social and intellectual competence. It promotes life-long learning, personal development and service to the community.

For more information visit www.digitalyardfoundation.org

Contact: Yanique Taylor
Telephone: (876) 359-8618
Email: yanique.taylor@digitalyardfoundation.org