Advocating STEM in schools
On December 4th, we launched our pilot for the ‘STEM in school’ program, powered by MLS. The school program is something we have been planning and working on for over a year, trying to combine a passion for education and doing more for the community, with liaising MLS with key projects on the island that are relatable to the MLS brand. Boosting the desire for STEM subjects through interactions with HAVO/VWO schools was deemed to be a great starting point. Stars seemed to align when we met with Global Health Strategist and Deloitte Health Innovation Edge Fellow, and a dear friend and partner to MLS, Lucien Engelen, and found that this was also one of his passions. We decided to combine his trip to Curacao for our annual r/Evolution of Healthcare Conference with a presentation to the ‘Bovenbouw’ of Radulphus College – our first school chosen to launch our ‘STEM in school’ program.
The morning was a resounding success. We had over 110 students sign up, and great support all around from the School Principal, Career Advisor, and team of STEM teachers. Our member of Parliament and Medical Entomologist, Mrs. Gisette Seferina, who jumped at the news that we were planning to do this, joined for the first two hours and gave a huge boost to the students, encouraging them to believe in themselves wholeheartedly when it comes to the future of their education and careers.
‘Be curious, be a pirate’
Lucien’s presentation challenged the young students’ minds. Whereas they initially only linked the traditional medical professions with a career in healthcare – doctors, nurses, lab scientists, etc. – his presentation enlightened them with the many facets of healthcare and the myriad of possibilities that lie within it. Some of our students’ eyes were gleaming at the news that ‘Gamification’ and the coding and developing skills that go along with it, will play a huge part in the future of healthcare. The biggest surprise of the morning was most likely the news that ‘Pokémon GO!’ was the invention that made the biggest impact on healthcare over the past decade!
MLS closed the morning donating over 100 foldable microscopes to the school, for each and every student who attended the presentation, and we can’t wait to go back and see the great work they’ve been doing with them. A big thank you to Lucien Engelen, and the team at Radulphus College, for making our ‘STEM in school’ launch a success!