In alignment with the national push to promote more STEM-based learning, the Alpha Primary School has been making strides as it relates to strengthening the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) into the learning experience. One such way is by partnering with the incredible STEM Builders Learning Hub. Through their “Likkle Einsteins” programme, students gain additional exposure to STEM-related activities, tutors and resources in regular sessions. Each week, students are challenged to work together and problem-solve as they tackle various hands-on activities such as creating robots, flashlights, glow-in-the-dark slime, explosions, and helium balloons – just to name a few!
As is the approach at many of the Mercy schools, “Likkle Einsteins” promotes learning through doing. The students deeply enjoy the practical components of these lessons and, as a result, gain a better understanding of the theoretical concepts being taught at the same time. This programme, which is mainly geared towards early childhood institutions and primary schools, was started in 2022 “out of the need to reach the students where they are, at their different levels” according to STEM Builders’ Founder and CEO, Kavelle Hylton. The organisations’ impactful work has won them several educational awards and positive media attention. In fact, their workshops at the Alpha Primary School were featured on television by the Jamaica Information Service just this year.
By investing in programmes and partnerships like this, APS aims to nurture, from a young age, students’ interest in STEM-related subjects. Due to our critical concern for women, we understand the particular importance of this for female students who are often underrepresented in these academic fields. It is, therefore, remarkable that these students are regularly exposed to highly-skilled female STEM teachers, both at APS and through the female-led STEM Builders Learning Hub.
With the programme only being targeted towards APS’ first to third graders, APS Principal, Mrs. Yvette Samuels, hopes to eventually expand the programme to upper school students as well. This, and other exciting plans (such as the construction of a state-of-the-art STEM Lab and resource centre), are underway as part of Alpha Primary’s efforts to provide an increasingly STEM-based learning environment. With dedicated partners like the STEM Builders Learning Hub, they’re well on their way!