Nine teams from seven of Grand Cayman’s local high schools gathered at the Camana Bay Arts & Recreation Centre on 1 February for ‘SKYSTONE’, the 2020 Minds Inspired Robotics’ FIRST Technical Challenge. The students were asked to imagine the cities of the future and design a robot capable of overcoming obstacles that stand in the path to build a superstructure.

A long time ago (last year) in a galaxy far, far away (the Camana Bay Arts & Recreation Centre), eight teams of intrepid students deployed their custom-built robots to retrieve samples of silver and gold Unobtainium, a rare mineral found only on the barren Planet X. 

This year, the students and their droid allies are tasked with a different mission: building towering structures that will climb into the skies.

Cayman’s brightest young mathematicians tested their skills at the 2019 Minds Inspired Mathematics Challenge on 21-22 November in the Sir Vassel Johnson Multipurpose Hall at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

Dart Minds Inspired programme is synonymous with STEM in the Cayman Islands and is grounded in the Dart family’s legacy of supporting education and a longstanding belief that STEM subjects are essential for success in and beyond the classroom.

In 2018 Dart broadened the scope of Minds Inspired to include teachers – the hardworking individuals who, although behind the scenes, are often responsible for a student’s love of, and success in, school. The Award for Excellence in Teaching STEM was introduced, with a goal of supporting and encouraging the growth of STEM in Cayman by rewarding excellence in teaching STEM, and providing school grants to purchase STEM related resources.

The Cayman Islands National Robotics team, made up of 11 students representing seven schools, competed in the FIRST Global robotics challenge in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 24 through 27 October. After completing nine matches over three days, the team finished 109 out of 190 teams with a total of four wins and five losses. In addition to their excellent work on the field, they also received two awards recognising their commitment to robotics through their preparation in the lead up to Dubai.

The future is now and it involves solar-powered bugs. That was just one element of the eighth international STEM conference held last month at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

The three-day conference, which featured a local and international line-up of speakers, involved presentations and events focused on the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That's where the solar bugs came in.