Over the half-term break, Luann Wainwright-Dill together with her team hosted this year’s Steam Academy Camp at CedarBridge Academy.
Mrs Wainwright-Dill, the Gate education officer for the Ministry of Education, ushered 30 children from different schools across the island at the camp. This year’s themes included: politics, poverty, self-esteem, war, disease and “what will my role be?”.
In addition to writing, designing and co-ordinating an energetic stage performance; campers were also able to enjoy digibotics and a gaming academy at the camp.
The Digibotics and Gaming Academy students collaborated daily under the leadership of McClaren Lowe, Cecily Richardson and Neville Zuill.
The Ah! Tempo staff, Samone Outerbridge, programme director Malinda Simmons-Jennings and Rajai Denbrook, teaching vocal styles, vocal technique and drama respectively, led the students in classes on choral singing, choreography, and drama.
Participants performed songs written and arranged by the staff. Additionally, the students devised the drama/choral speaking content themselves.
The overseer of the camp, Mrs Wainwright-Dill said of the camp: “The Steam Academy 2.0 is the first October midterm break Steam offering provided by the Department of Education’s Gifted and Talented Education Programme.”
She continued: “Since July, 2015, Gate has been providing students who have a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics integrated learning experiences based upon a universal theme for four weeks culminating with an annual showcase at the Ruth Seaton James Centre for Performing Arts at CedarBridge.
The Steam Academy, third-place winner of the 2015 and second-place winner of the Most Innovative Youth Project — TechAwards, has seen more than 200 students benefit from this offering. Gate partners with Ah! Tempo, under the directorship of Mrs Simmons-Jennings together with a team of local experts in the visual and performing arts immersed the P4 to M3 students in the various facets of the arts to create a musical production.
The students experience daily instruction in dance, devising original drama, vocal styles, vocal technique, set building, costume and prop making.
The academy also offered Digibotics, which immerses P4-P6 students in 21st-century learning experiences that develop important technical skill sets.
Students engaged daily in critical thinking, coding, programming, digital interfacing, collaboration, curiosity, ingenuity, hands-on robot design, global awareness, engineering challenges, and teamwork via web-based platforms.
This year, the group focused on robotics’s impact in the field of renewable energies.
The Gaming Academy for M1 to S4 students, was an intensive two-week programme designed to introduce passionate young game designers and developers to the methods and processes used by professional game makers throughout the world. The programme focused on all aspects of the creative process from ideation to problem-solving to delivery.
Students created their own original digital online game, developed skills and strategies to prepare them for a future in the digital media industry.
The Gaming Academy was facilitated by Mr Zuill, science and technology teacher at CedarBridge Academy.
Mr Zuill has been trained specifically in gaming by a partnership with Harrisburg University, in Pennsylvania.
He has facilitated the creation of online digital games for the past two years with distinction.
His creativity and expertise at the Gaming Academy earned him the Most Innovative Youth Project at the TechAwards 2015. Each offering culminated with a three-hour showcase of student learning.
Participants devised their own original drama/choral speaking narrative; built robots to engage in practical application to real-world problems such as search and rescue, bomb diffusion, assistive surgery.
The young people also researched the impact of technological challenges in the world today.
Their research led them to such philosophical questions as:
What is the “Power of One”?
What is the one thing everyone wants?
Is it money? Is it food? Is it shelter? Is it clothing?
Is it something that’s so important that it is worth fighting for?
Is it the colour of your skin? Is it your heritage?
Participants responded: “It is the most basic thing — the power of one. Unity, faith and action … this is the power of one!”
Students wrote the script and choreographed an amazing show with the help of Mrs Wainwright Dill and her team.
On stage the students asked the audience: “Afraid! Afraid to speak up! Afraid to stand out; afraid to bring justice; afraid to use your mouth …
“We are fed with the issues of the past. Scared about what people might do to you.
“When you’re the only person you can ever be true to … We are over fed with the issues of the past.
“They were started before us. Mass-produced food that poisons us, the earth is being destroyed, gun violence, drugs, mobile-phone addiction, war.
“We will protect the earth. We will protect our families.”
The 2018 Steam Academy student campers were:
Sergio DeFrias (Whitney Institute); Nadia DeSousa (St George’s Preparatory School); Sierra DeSousa (Bermuda High School); DaMarley Francis (TN Tatem Middle School); Malaysia Johnson (Bermuda Institute); Elliana Kirkos (Bermuda High School); Amaya Pierra; Brianna Lightbourne (Bermuda High School); My-Ah Outerbridge (Bermuda Institute); Ni’Asia Pitcher (TN Tatem Middle School); Fasika Simons (Bermuda High School); Aiyana Smith; Torrell Stuart (CedarBridge Academy); Najze’ Wellman (Francis Patton Primary); Ashley Wilson (section leader and junior assistant); Naomi (Bermuda College).
Christian Botelho (Warwick Academy); Layla Rabain (Elliot Primary); Zakai Taylor (Prospect Primary) and Zenai Taylor (Prospect Primary)
Sage DeSousa (Clearwater Middle School); Isaiah Fraser (Sandys Secondary Middle School); Adrian Fox (Bermuda Institute); Dylan Fox (Bermuda Institute); Allayna Fox (Bermuda Institute); Shaunyae Hassell CedarBridge Academy); Cedric Park (Dellwood Middle School) and Sheun Simmons (Whitney Institute).