(L-R) Ben Leftwich, Brandon Caruana, Glenda McTaggart, Fawne Taylor, Pilar Bush

Once considered a specialist skill reserved only for computer geeks and programming professionals, nowadays coding is considered an essential ability for students of all ages and interests.

Designed to promote education and foster academic excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Dart’s Minds Inspired Education Programme is partnering with local non-profit organisation Code(Cayman) to introduce local youth to programming and provide a setting to acquire the foundational skills, understanding, and knowledge to support further exploration in the field.

Dart Senior Manager Education Programmes Glenda McTaggart says students’ experiences during the pandemic have underscored the importance of digital literacy.

“Minds Inspired understands there is a greater need for technology education in Cayman and sponsoring Code(Cayman) will help fill this gap. The pandemic has reinforced the need to prepare Cayman’s youth for studies and employment in the digital sector,” she said. “Students of all ages have had to adapt to virtual learning, and Cayman’s public and private sectors have collaborated in efforts to bridge the digital divide.”

The partnership includes the donation of 15 laptops to Code(Cayman), ensuring each student has individual access to updated technology at the organisation’s newly opened IT lab at Grand Pavilion.

“Code(Cayman) is honoured to be partnering with Minds Inspired,” said Brandon Caruana, director of Code(Cayman). “This partnership will allow us to mutually expand our reach across the Cayman Islands and continue to evolve our programs. We are optimistic that this donation will eliminate any possible barrier to entry and ensure our programs are accessible to all individuals interested in learning.”

Minds Inspired will also help promote the Code(Cayman) programmes by hosting informational sessions for high school students, a multiweek course for John Gray High School students and a summer coding camp during the school summer break.  The first information session will be held on 18 March at the Camana Bay Cinema and attendance will be arranged through the schools.  Dates for other events and more details will be announced through the Minds Inspired and Code(Cayman) websites and social media pages in due course.