Dutch Research Council – NWO – organized Dutch Caribbean Research Week for high schools

High school pupils introduced to Caribbean research NWO participated in the Dutch Caribbean Research Week (14 – 18 June) {https://www.nwo.nl/en/meetings/dutch-caribbean-research-week}. The focus was on education and knowledge transfer.

Researchers from the Caribbean region or researchers who do research there will give workshops to high school pupils. Wherever possible, they will do that physically at the school and elsewhere, online workshops will be offered. The workshops will be given at a number of schools in the Netherlands as well as at schools on Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Sint Maarten.

What does a researcher actually do each day, and why is doing research so important? Why is vertical farming a smart solution for agriculture on the islands? How can you involve young people in archaeological research on Saba, and what can archaeology teach us? In particular, young people will be encouraged to ask the researchers a lot of questions. In this way, they will be involved in the program that is aimed at knowledge sharing and network formation.

Monday, June 15 from 12 to 12:45 pm a session was conducted with twelves students from the vocational and pro-forms. A second session was held with twenty-one students from forms 3A and B. Angus Martin, Director of the Saba Heritage Center presented a lecture on the importance of Scientific Research for the Region, while Lysanne Charles assisted with leading the classroom discussions. In the presentations, he explained his love of history and the path that held him to academic research. He also showed students a video of an archaeological fair in Grenada and explained how similar work had been done on the island.

The students of 3A and B had a lively discussion about research, DNA, and genealogy. Students were surprised but interested in how much information was out there and how it was helping to rewrite sciences in other areas. At the end of the sessions, many students expressed an interest in learning more about how they could be a part of the process and were particularly interested in more presentations about the ocean and marine sciences. “I liked that the gentleman said that we could research almost anything we were interested in. I want to study economics and I like that there are many opportunities in that field for me,” third-form student Bernardo Baker said. Josef Stuefer, policy officer NWO Caribbean Research program: “This series of workshops at high schools will make young people aware of the value of science in society.”

Tibisay Sankantsing, Nava, a researcher at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV): “I hope that more people will come to see that science does not need to be confined to ivory towers. I want to show people that there are other ways of doing scientific research too and that we can largely determine these ways ourselves. I’m still looking for ways of doing that and hope to include more young people in my search.” Since the start of the Caribbean Programme, NWO has organized three funding rounds. These have given a considerable boost to scientific research into and on the Dutch Caribbean islands. More information about activities and outcomes can be found on our programme page {Caribisch onderzoek: een multidisciplinaire benadering | NWO}.

Source: NWO Local Contact: Lysanne Charles Cell + 1721 58 10 710

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