In mid-June, NWO is organising the second edition of the Week of Caribbean Research. Education and knowledge transfer are key focuses. In the weeks before the event, researchers from the Caribbean region or those who are doing research in this region will give workshops to secondary school pupils.
The workshops will be offered at several schools in the Netherlands and at schools in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten.
This series of workshops at secondary schools raises awareness among young people of the value of science in society. Why is research so important and what does a scientist actually do every day? What kind of jobs are associated with research and how do you go about getting one?
The workshops cover a range of topics. Young people are encouraged to ask the researchers many questions and carry out short assignments on the spot. Some of the questions that will be dealt with include: How does the economy of a ‘small island state’ such as Curaçao or Saba work? What exactly is data collection (the students will be asked to do an exercise, in which they design their own survey)? What is the relationship between food and sustainability, and how can you keep your carbon footprint as low as possible? The pupils thus become involved in the programme that focuses on knowledge sharing and networking.
Tammy-Sue Lejuez, pupil 4 HAVO – Colegio Nigel Matthew, Aruba:
‘Make more responsible choices. Think about what you eat, and how that increases your footprint.’
Amber van Veghel, researcher Food and Climate Change, University of Aruba
‘I really enjoyed engaging with the children about food. We talked about culture and eating habits. And I also learned a lot from the students. For example, one group discovered that some coconut plantations have dug channels containing water so the coconuts make a “soft landing” in the water instead of on the hard ground.’
Programme of the Dutch Caribbean Research Week (13-17th of June 2022)
Since the Caribbean programme was launched, NWO has organised three grant rounds. These have given a considerable boost to scientific research on and in the Dutch Caribbean. More information about the activities and results can be found on the programme page.