Monday, Royal Caribbean International hosted students from three New Providence Island schools in The Bahamas as they explored the world’s newest wonder, Wonder of the Seas, as a part of the cruise line’s STEM for Oceans initiative.
The students, who ranged from 8 to 19 years old, were split into different age groups to participate in a variety of immersive Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities on board the cruise line’s new ship. The experience included a guided tour of the firsts and favorites across Wonder’s eight neighborhoods, lunch in Solarium Bistro – one of the ship’s 40-plus restaurants, bars and lounges – and an original production put on by the cast on board. The student received a behind-the-scenes look at the engine control room and met with the Environmental Officer on board to understand how the advanced wastewater purification system treats water on board.
Bradrico Smith, 16, a student at C.V. Bethel Senior High who was in one of the tour groups, said he hopes to one day have a career in STEM and maybe work on a cruise ship. He said that since joining the STEM program, his specific interests have shifted slightly. “I want to do either aeronautics or engineering. I always liked engineering beforehand. But I like marine engineering more since starting STEM for Oceans,” said Smith.
The STEM for Oceans program, which was established in partnership with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), is part of Royal Caribbean’s Blue Green Promise to protect, inspire and empower sustainable ocean communities. The program aims to enhance local curriculums with regional ocean conservation topics during camps held after school or during the weekends. Attending students between the ages of 5 and 18 participate in hands-on STEM activities, like building robotic rovers and identifying ocean fauna. STEM for Oceans caters to vulnerable populations, including youth living with disabilities, youth from The Bahamas AIDS Foundation and teen student mothers.