Tuesday, October 1, 2019

“Students Jump into Summer Camps at UVI”

When school was out summer camp was in at the University of the Virgin Islands. Throughout the summer months, the St. Thomas Campus and the Albert A. Sheen Campus hosted several camps, some of them being the Cybersecurity Camp, the Jeff Jones Basketball Camp, and the Youth Ocean Explorers Camp. Each camp brought excitement with activities tailored toward every camper that attended.

The Cybersecurity Camp

Cybersecurity campers take group photo

Students in the cyber camp learned a lot more than just the basic computer functions. They were exposed to Coding, Python (programming language), Google Colaboratory ( a coding program), binary numbers, encryptions, steganography, and other programming features like JavaScript and HTML.

Middle and High School participants
Makeda Cabey, who is an upcoming 9th grader at All Saints Cathedral School has been attending this camp for over four years now. “I learn something new every year and there are new people and new teachers every year,” says Cabey.

Rosalie Faulkner, an upcoming 9th grader with plans to attend Montessori School is a first year participant of the camp. “It’s teaching me some skills that I could use for future reference, even though I don’t plan on majoring in this [cybersecurity], I think it’s good to at least know the basics.”
Elementary School Participants

Biton Charles, a recent graduate of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School has plans to enroll at UVI and major in computer science. “It’s benefiting me well because it’s reviving my love for computer science”, says Charles. At first it was draining because I didn’t fully understand how to do it   but now that I have teachers to guide me I have a better understanding.”

Middle and High School students in Lab
Kalani Simon, is an upcoming 9th grader with plans to attend the Charlotte Amalie High School with hopes of one day becoming a software engineer. “I’ve learned many different things in cybersecurity and coding along with programming,” says Simon.

Elementary School students 

The Jeff Jones Basketball Camp

The Jeff Jones participants take a group photo

The Jeff Jones Basketball Camp brought a lot of energy along with smiles and positive personalities. The camp which hosted campers ranging from ages four to seventeen ran for three weeks, with each week being a different session. Camp Director Coach Jackson Dolor says he is very excited to be hosting this camp. “We are trying to teach these young men and women to follow a certain direction that a college coach is going to be paying attention to.”  

Coach Jackson and the younger participants 

Coach Jackson with the older participants

With the hope of finding a future UVI Buc, Dolor says that coming to this camp prepares young children in “pee wee” category and older for the next level of basketball whether that be middle or high school, but ultimately leading up to college basketball. 

“We want to bring something that is not offered here, we are going to train them in the art of basketball and we’re going to give them everything that they need”, he said. Several of these young athletes have hopes of becoming NBA superstars while others want to pursue college careers. 

Denny Gonzalez is an upcoming 11th grader at the All Saints Cathedral School. “It’s a very rigorous but good camp it really helps you with your skills,” he says. 

Hakim Alexander is a recent graduate of the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. “I learned a lot, plays that I never seen on St. Thomas before,” comments Alexander.

Young athletes plays a basketball game

Shirmoy O’Garro is an upcoming senior at the Charlotte Amalie High School. “This camp is benefiting me because it’s helping me in terms of my dribbling, my shooting, and my basketball awareness of the court, and actually teaching me the sport,” O’Garro says. 

Younger athletes play on the court

Caylen Johnson is a 6th  grader visiting all the way from Germany where he attends the Nelson Mandela School. “Next year, I’m coming to this camp again because I really love it and I enjoy being there,” says Johnson. 

Young athlete shoots ball into basket

J’vante Harrigan is an upcoming 5th grader at the All Saints Cathedral School. “It’s benefiting me a lot,” he says. “They’re making me have a better form. I’m shooting better. I’m dribbling better,” Harrigan says. “My overall experience has been very great.”

  Cymorie Miltie is visiting from the states and heard about the camp from a friend who lives on St. Thomas. “It’s been great,” he says. “Coach has been great. Camp has been great, and everything overall has been great. I would recommend it.” Miltie added: “It’s a good camp to experience things. It’s a good camp to learn, and it’s a good camp to make friends.” 

Young athlete makes a slam dunk as others watch

The Youth Ocean Explorers (YOE) Summer Program

Youth Ocean Explorers Participants 

This summer, students enrolled in the Youth Ocean Explorers (YOE) Summer Program were introduced to careers in marine and environmental science, while absorbing ocean breezes and enjoying our crystal clear waters. Since its launch in 2016, YOE, a 4-week marine science-based summer program has recruited on average 25 students each year, in grades 7-12 to participate in the program where the ocean is used as the classroom to teach students about various concepts in marine and environmental science. With funding support from the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Program Director Forbes was able to launch YOE on St. Croix, with additional support from the Virgin Islands Department of Education, the National Park Service, and the Department of Planning and Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management. Sixteen students participated on St. Croix and while the program only lasted for 2 consecutive weeks, the students were able to be introduced to a plethora of science topics and careers. “We have to date engaged approximately 150 students since the start of these programs and we hope that [number] will continue to rise.” says Howard Forbes Jr. program director.

Two students snorkel underwater

Portia Miles is a first year participant and attends Antilles School. “I applied to this program because I want a career in science and I felt this program would provide me  more information about global warming and ways I can reduce it,” says Miles. 

Youth Ocean Explorer students engage in group activity
Anushka Chandiramani is a 14-year-old participant and also attends Antilles school. “My experience has been really interesting thus far; learning about the environment that I live in and have lived in my entire life,” she says.  “It is nice to learn about things that I did not know about before and has taught me that we need to do better about protecting the environment.” 

Students snorkel underwater and pose for the camera

Brian Alexander attends the All Saints Cathedral School. “I applied to this program because I am interested in marine science; I hope to one day become an oceanographer,” he says. “This program has taught me more about the field of oceanography, which I am thankful for,” says Alexander. 

Anissa Wallen from All Saints Cathedral School

Raphael Hodge is an 11–year-old who attends Antilles school as well and is a first year participant. “I am interested in the field of marine science. This program has definitely shed more light on what marine scientist do, which is great!”