Solight Design and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) commit to holding a Solar STEAM training seminar for 200 students and 15 teachers at the Arthur Waldron Academy in Dominica to introduce the principles of environmental sustainability, renewable energy, design-thinking, and solar technology. The seminar will be followed with two hands-on solar circuit and paper origami trainings for 15 students each, where students will collaboratively build their own small solar light systems.
These workshops will provide hands-on understanding of basic circuits and a general understanding of the integration of sustainable materials, photovoltaics, architecture, economy, ecology, and health. The students will learn the basics of design-thinking through origami in order to build the form of the solar light and demonstrate the integration of art and science. Participating students will be in secondary school from Forms 1 to 5.
Solight Design will provide the curriculum, inspired by STEAM learning principles, and facilitate the training for the students. In addition, Solight will provide the materials for the trainings.
DAIC will provide logistics support in executing the training for students and teachers at Arthur Waldron Academy and support in making the curriculum available to other organizations in Dominica following the trainings.
February 2020: Solight and DAIC will partner to hold the seminar and two workshops at the Arthur Waldron Academy in Dominica.
March 2020 to June 2020: DAIC will make the curriculum available to additional students at Waldron Academy and other educational and youth groups on the island.
The impacts of Hurricane Maria to the island of Dominica were severe – this devastating climate-driven storm resulted in loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure, including schools. With 99% of the island without power for months, students’ education and routines were lastingly disrupted. Since the storm, solar energy and other renewables have been recognized as a means to reduce electricity costs and increase resiliency in Dominica and across the Caribbean. Moreover, the renewable energy transition presents a significant opportunity for new economic growth and workforce development.
Alongside climate change, one of the preeminent challenges facing Dominica is the advent of globalization – it is especially important for Dominica’s students to develop the cutting-edge skills to assist in creating new business opportunities, specifically in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sector. Studies have shown that education in science and technology, along with vocational skills, are among the key engines that drive economic recovery and socioeconomic equality. One of the most promising STEM industries is renewable energy.
Experts argue that truly long-term sustainability will require the combination of STEM with “Art”, or STEAM curriculum. Innovation requires a fusion between imagination and technology. STEAM can teach “out of the box thinking” with in-class lectures and lab work to expand the limits of critical thinking. Given this context, it is important that students in Dominica are provided with the appropriate training derived from STEAM principles to meet the challenges of 21st century society.
The partners would welcome media support, financial resources for additional student supplies, additional solar light material for students, and resources for future curriculum implementation and additional workshops for children in Dominica.
Solight and DAIC will offer curriculum materials to other youth-serving and educational organizations in Dominica. Additionally, they will provide their insights on best practices to other organizations in the Action Network interested in providing solar education opportunities to children in the Caribbean.