UTech, Jamaica Facilitates Ministry of National Security’s Robotics and Animation Workshop for 80 Primary Level Students

(JIS photo) Mrs. Carolyn Ferguson-Arnold(left), Programme Director, Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FENC) assembles a demo robot at the start of a Robotics and Animation Workshop on Thursday, July 20, 2023 at the Shared Facilities Building, UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus.  The Workshop is being facilitated by UTech, Jamaica as part of the Ministry of National Security’s (MNS) Music Sport and Technology (MST) summer initiative.  Honourable Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn (right) Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security and Mr. Paulton Gordon (centre), Director, Community Service Department, UTech, Jamaica look on with keen interest.

In keeping with its commitment to design and deliver the technology aspect of the Ministry of National Security’s (MNS) Music Sport and Technology (MST) summer initiative, the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Jamaica), hosted a Robotics and Animation workshop at its Papine Campus for approximately eighty (80) student beneficiaries of this year’s programme.  

The workshop was facilitated by the School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT), the School of Engineering and the Department of Community Service.  It forms the first leg of the technology lesson delivery component for the 2023 cohort of participants. Participants in this year’s MST initiative are from St. Andrews, St. Anne’s, Norman Gardens and Mountain View primary schools in Kingston.  

Honourable Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Minister of State, Ministry of National Security, accompanied by other officers from the Ministry, visited the campus on Thursday, July 20, 2023 to obtain a first-hand look at the state-of-the-art facilities at the UTech, Jamaica Papine campus and to provide encouragement to the students participating in the summer initiative.  

Also present to welcome the Minister, Ministry officials and students, for the day’s activity at UTech, Jamaica was Mr. Paulton Gordon, Director, Community Service Department UTech, Jamaica who is also President of the Jamaica Basketball Association.  Through the Jamaica Basketball Association, the students will gain basketball lessons in fulfilment of the sport aspect of the Ministry’s Music Sport and Technology initiative.

State Minister, Ministry of National Security, Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn shares a word of encouragement with the students ahead of their lessons.


In her interaction with the students ahead of the workshop sessions, Minister Cuthbert Flynn encouraged the youngsters to use the opportunity to learn something new, make friends, and to be attentive so that they can identify areas of interest for the future.  

"This is going to be a fun camp for you. I am sure that from this experience you are going to forge new friendships and from all the activities that you are going to learn here, maybe you will be pulled to one of those things and maybe you will become good at it one day. Maybe you’ll become an expert at it one day and that is what we want, to expose you to what is out there to see what you like to do” she said, while further urging them to “soak up all the information that you are going to get from this summer camp.”

Mrs. Carolyn Ferguson-Arnold, Programme Director, Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, FENC and tutor of the summer programme, interacts with student Kevaughn Hall during the Robotics training session of the Robotics and Animation Workshop as Mr. Jermaine Kelly(standing), Lab Technician, School of Engineering assists other students.

The 4-hour long workshop saw the students navigating through introductory topics in Robotics and Animation led by Mrs. Carolyn Ferguson-Arnold, Programme Director, Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering and Mr. Everico Crosby, finalizing student in the BSc Animation and Production programme at SCIT. Among the topics explored in the robotics session were: aspects of robots and their uses, disciplines in robotics and robot construction, while Mr. Crosby went through the fundamentals of design, drawing and various software used to develop animation among other topics. The students were also provided with session workbooks and other apparatus for fun exercises and practical activities. 

Kailen Ferguson shows off his creation of a domestic robot during the Robotics and Animation Workshop.

Kailen Ferguson, a grade four student from Pembroke Hall Primary School was all too excited to learn about the ways in which robots are constructed.  He shared that what he is enjoying mostly about the workshop is the fact that he can “build” referring to a practical activity in which the group was allowed to build a toy robot from cardboard rolls. Ferguson, an aspiring robotics engineer, built a domestic type toy robot, noting that he is fascinated with them given his idea that they might be capable of doing all his chores for him.

Mr. Everico Crosby, a final year student in the BSc Animation and Production programme, School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) goes through the basics of animation with the group of students participating in the animation lab during the Robotics and Animation Workshop.

Another student, 11-year-old Kevaugh Hall from St. Andrew Primary who has a passion for airplanes, loves to learn about robots and aspires to become a professional footballer, said that he too enjoys being a part of the programme and would like to continue to participate in similar projects that teaches him about engineering. 

The students who are being engaged in the Ministry’s Music Sport and Technology summer initiative over the course of two weeks, will continue their participation in the technology based workshops at UTech, Jamaica on Thursday, July 27, 2023. They will also participate in the music and sports phase of the programme at their respective primary schools. 

The Music Sport and Technology initiative is a youth crime prevention strategy by the MNS which commenced in 2018. It is being funded at approximately 12 Million Jamaican Dollars through the USAID’s Government to Government partnership and aims to have primary level students engaged in interactive sessions that immerse them in basic training in music, sport and technology as well as provide them with appropriate exposure to environments that will help them to develop new skills. 



Michelle Beckford
Corporate Communications Manager 
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 970-5299/818-5893
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm