PenDragon - the official magazine of Lyford Cay International School PenDragon Vol 5, Spring 2019 - Page 18

Another thing that stood out to me was the fact that LCIS had a really great art programme. I was able to express my creativity through the arts. LCIS still does an awesome job of promoting the arts. I like that LCIS has a STEAM-focused program where Science, Engineering and Maths are combined with the Arts, which seems like a continuation of what I was doing in primary school. I’m really happy to see that. ALUMNI NOTES: D’Andre Wilson- Ihejirika (1993- 1997) hosts Hack-a-Thon on Campus D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika attended the then-Lyford Cay School in the nineties before continuing her education in Canada and becoming an engineer. In her spare time, she co-founded BETA, an organisation that organises extra-curricular STEM activities for Bahamian students. BETA, in collaboration with LCIS, recently held a Hack-a-Thon event at the LCIS campus. D’Andre described the event and recalled her time at Lyford Cay School. Tell us about coming back to LCIS with the Hack-a-Thon. What particular campus changes stood out to you during your recent visit? BETA-Hack was the first Hack-a-Thon that BETA has coordinated. We brought in students from a number of schools to participate. We have tried to do it for the past year, but needed the right partner. LCIS was the ideal partner because the school was able to support us by providing laptops, technology expertise and great facilities like Dingman Hall, which was perfect for this kind of collaborative event. Having fast campus- wide WiFi also helped. Overall, LCIS provided a great environment for students from across The Bahamas to come together and learn about how technology can be used to solve global problems. I haven’t visited LCIS in about six years. There have been a number of updates to the campus: Dingman Hall, the pool and the Secondary building. When I went to LCIS, we didn’t have a high school. It’s interesting to see how easily the students move around the campus. What I also find interesting is that amid the school growing and changing, there are still a number of features that are exactly the same as I remember. The same class that I took art lessons in is still there. But it has been upgraded with projectors and smart-boards to facilitate learning. So there’s some nostalgia, but it’s great to see that the classrooms I learned in have been updated. What are you up to now professionally? What lesson did you learn at LCIS that you will always take through life? I am currently an engineer working for an energy company in Alberta, Canada. Some of the programmes that I was involved in like arts programmes or Eureka will always stay with me because they encouraged me to explore different areas and try new things. Having a small campus and student body also taught me how to collaborate with a number of different people. The lessons I learned about collaboration and cooperation at LCIS are what I’ve taken with me throughout my life. How are you involved with BETA? I am one of the co-founders of BETA, which stands for Bahamas Engineering and Technology Advancement, along with Biomedical Engineer, Trenika Rolle-Dukes. We started the organisation because we wanted to introduce Bahamian youth to engineering and technology at a younger age so that they can be more familiar, comfortable and confident with the subjects and more able to make the decision to study STEM in university. When we were in high school, we didn’t even know what engineering was until we went to college, which was a little bit late. I kind of stumbled into a career as an engineer. 18 D'Andre during her first days at LCIS (third from the left in the front row) Was there any experience at LCIS that made you want to pursue a career in science? Since I was in primary school, I have loved science. At Lyford Cay, in particular, we had an after-school programme called the Eureka Programme, which allowed high-performing science students to participate in STEM activities after school. That, along with other learning experiences at Lyford Cay, sparked my interest in science. The LCIS Hack-a-Thon team during the three- day event. 19