With Grand Bahama’s first Tech Summit only a month in the past, already, some positive effects from the Summit are being felt among the students of Freeport. On Monday, December 11, students from Sunland Baptist Academy and Jack Hayward High School participated in what is called “an Hour of Code,” simultaneously with children around the globe. In fact, Sunland and Jack Hayward were pacesetters in officially establishing Grand Bahama as part of the worldwide Program. The Global imitative was brought to The Bahamas through the efforts of Kristie Powell, a Bahamian working at Google, who was one of the guest speakers at the first technology summit. The program was taught to over 20 million students around the world on Monday, the same time students in Grand Bahama were going through the program.
The program, “Hour of Code” is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in over 180 countries. One-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages and is geared towards students from ages four, upward. On Monday, both Sunland and Jack Hayward were introduced to the program by another guest speaker of the first Tech Summit, Alex Cameron, a programmer. Cameron introduced the students to the world of coding and set the foundation for what is expected to become a future career for many of Grand Bahama’s youngsters.
“This is a program about which the Minister for Grand Bahama is very excited,” said Harcourt Brown, Permanent Secretary in the Office of The Prime Minister, during his visit with the students at Sunland Baptist Academy. “This is one of the suggestions that was put forth during the GB Tech Summit. This is an embodiment of what it is we hope to accomplish here in Grand Bahama in the very near future. As some of you may know the purpose of the Tech Summit was to help establish Grand Bahama as a Tech Hub. This is part of that starting point.
“What you’re about to do this morning is extremely important; during a meeting with the executives of the Steering Committee, one of the discussions that came out of that meeting was what was happening with education in The Bahamas. The question was ‘are young people preparing themselves for what is taking place as it relates to the development of Grand Bahamas a Technology Hub.”
Mr. Brown said that the ‘Hour of Code” program could not come at a better time, as Freeport pushes to follow up on its plans to make GB the Tech Hub for The Bahamas. He encouraged the students to take full advantage of the program. Alex Cameron reminded the students that technology is about making life better for people, while at the same time making a good living by those who are proficient in it. He assured the students that learning how to code was not as difficult as it seemed. “In fact, coding, technology can help to fix all of the problems Grand Bahama presently face,” said Cameron. “All it takes are people willing to put in the time and begin the process. It’s not about just talking, it’s about doing and making the world better.”