Trinidad & Tobago telecommunications provider bmobile began its first Connect @bmobile Technology Conference and Exposition at the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad on Monday.
This first-of-its-kind conference and exposition in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region, differed from other technology conferences, as the design and format allowed industry stakeholders to actively participate and exchange ideas with leading global technology companies to facilitate the growth of ICT, managed services and data centre services.
Rakesh Goswami, TSTT’s executive vice president, Strategic Alliance, Enterprise and Tobago Operations, expanded on the objectives of hosting the conference: “The telecommunications industry is constantly evolving at rapid speeds and all users—operators, consumers and the business sector—are faced with daily challenges. Our Connect @bmobile Technology Conference and Exposition is a new experience which provides a rich exchange of ideas and solutions with multiple industry leaders from across the world, all focused on how an investment in technology will stimulate innovation, increase collaboration and drive growth, productivity and economic transformation towards national prosperity.”
Connect @bmobile began under the theme “Big Data and Innovations in Technology” Senior Technical Director, Product Innovation, and big data expert from AT&T, Learie Hercules, helped attendees discover how to use advanced analytics like any Fortune 500 company to grow their business globally.
Presentations by representatives from Google, eSource Capital Technologies Inc; Huawei, MITTEL, VmWare and AMITEIS’ brought awareness of real world and first-to-market applications that have empowered their businesses and catapulted them ahead in their respective fields.
3D Technology For Moruga Museum
A 3D Digitisation and Spherical Technology project produced by the University of St Andrews, UK, in conjunction with EULAC Virtual Workshops and presented through the cooperation of The University of the West Indies Museum, St Augustine campus and the National Museum and Art Gallery, was hosted at the Moruga Museum as part of a bigger project happening in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Facilitators Dr Karen Brown, Dr Allan Miller and Abeola Fabola, of the University of St Andrews, gave participants from four schools from the Moruga area hands-on experience in topics such as photogrammetry, laser scanning and structural lighting for creating digital representations of physical objects and spherical photography.
Pupils of Moruga Secondary, Cowen Hamilton Secondary, Princes Town East and Princes Town West expressed their enthusiasm for producing digital outputs representative of their heritage. As the workshop progressed, Eric Lewis, curator of the Moruga Museum, gave the pupils a historical and educational tour of the Moruga Museum and they particularly enjoyed learning about the Merikins and the fact that some of them are descendants of the Merikins.
They had a renewed respect for the Merikin elders of the community who were present at the workshop. They later spoke of using the knowledge gained in the 3D technology to promote their ancestry. During the workshop, artfacts from the Moruga Museum were selected and set up and the pupils were shown how to take the photographs using their smartphones and tablets.
Curator Lewis said that it was always a part of his objective that international museums would use the Moruga Museum as a database to show to the world.
“My hope is that more schools, universities and museums would come on board and use this as a research database. We need to expand all aspects of the museum, including the physical, not only to accommodate archaeological items but to facilitate local and international programmes such as this workshop here today.
Pushing The Value Of Science
Hon. Cardinal Warde, president of the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation, executive director of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), and a professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, grew up in Barbados.
He is therefore familiar with the Bajan folklore environment of yesteryear. Situations where young adults at play rode wooden scooters down sloping roads; made “guttaperks” and dung heaps; and hopped on and off travelling buses without falling.
Interestingly, though informal, science educators could make a case – if they so wished – that those pastimes experientially introduced students – and others – to the science and mathematics disciplines.
For example, persons who did not keep running after they hopped off a moving bus or, who did not gradually foot-break their scooter, often stumbled or fell flat on their faces because they disregarded their momentum – a law of science.
Those seemingly bygone era experiences informally connected youths to Science and Math but many perhaps did not know it. Now today, many school curricula in the United States of America have an interdisciplinary programme called STEM. In this approach, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are taught together and not separately.
Warde, a Yale graduate — also an inventor of 12 patents and faculty director of a six weeks intensive programme for gifted, under-represented minority high school seniors – is a leading advocate for the inclusion and promotion of STEM programmes in Caribbean schools.
“We need to create a new population and raise appreciation and awareness of STEM and its applications. As you know, science is still not seen by many students as cool. As governments seek to improve maths scores and reform education, we need to help them and push the envelope and make STEM a household name. I believe that journalists have a role to play if governments in the Caribbean region are to reach their national goals. I invite you to step out of your comfort zone and find the job niche that awaits you.”
In a CSF press release this week, STEM in the Caribbean received another boost when two two-day workshops for primary teachers were held at the Genesis Academy, Kingston and the Wexford Hotel, Montego Bay, in Jamaica. The workshops were possible by grant funding from the Embassy of the United States of America to Jamaica, as well as through the cooperation of the Ministry of Education of Jamaica.
Teaching tools include UNESCO-approved micro-science kits which emphasize observation and experimentation, while drawing on the child’s own knowledge. The goal of using the teaching tools is to introduce the basics of the scientific method, and promote student interest and excitement in science and engineering. Similar workshops were held in Antigua, Barbados and St Vincent.