NTRC hosts ‘Girls in ICT’ event

Some girls in session at the ICT event

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Science, Telecommunications and Technology (MISTT) hosted ‘Girls in ICT’ day under the theme “Expand Horizons and Change Attitudes”.

Girls in ICT is an international event organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of April. It seeks to empower young women and girls in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

This year nine (9) schools participated in the Girls in ICT Event namely Dominica State College, Portsmouth Secondary School, Wesley High School, Dominica Grammar School, Arthur Waldron SDA Academy, St Martin Secondary School, Convent High School, Castle Bruce Secondary School, Orion Academy, and Isaiah Thomas Secondary School. A total of fifty (50) young ladies from varying academic levels, some as junior as 2nd Form, participated in the event.

Executive Director of the NTRC, Craig Nesty was very pleased with the level of engagement shown by the girls and the level of support received from all staff, volunteers and the ICT Unit of the MISTT. He also hopes by donating all of the kits to the schools, including microcontrollers, servos and ultrasonic sensors the students will be motivated to continue to learn, explore and build. He also hopes that the NTRC can keep inspiring the youth and help promote a culture of creating and innovating.

Ms. Adeola Bannis led the students through a sequence of activities designed to give the girls a basic understanding of programming and robotics. The students learned about microcontrollers, basic C++ programming and prototyping.  The students then put their new found knowledge to work on constructing a cardboard robot based on the OTTO DIY opensource robot. Each robot comprised 4 servo motors programmed as outputs and one HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance sensor programmed as an input to an Arduino Nano microcontroller.

Ms. Bannis is currently a PHD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and said she was very happy to see how interested all the girls were. She hopes that some of them will be inspired to pursue careers in robotics & technology in the future.

Former lecturer at the Dominica State College (DSC) Cedric Pemberton noted that this was one of the best introductory sessions to programming that he had ever been to.

“Students are programming and not even realizing they are programming.” he noted.

This year’s activity was funded by the Universal Service Fund (USF) – a fund enacted under the Telecommunications Act of 2000 and managed by the NTRC.

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  1. Davidson Edwards
    May 1, 2019

    Absolutely great initiative. This is exactly what we need more of

  2. Sylvester Cadette
    April 30, 2019

    I am so proud and pleased with the work of Mr. Craig Nesty, Ms. Urania Williams and the entire NTRC for this great work with our girls.

    Congratulations to the Schools and especially to the Girls who participated. We have a few scientists already on the way.

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