On May 18, the U.S. Embassy partnered with the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago to launch the Caribbean's first U.S. Science Corner. More than 100 students, educators, and enthusiastic members of the public attended this fantastic event that was highlighted on all local television stations. U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Beatrice Welters and Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Peters addressed the audience and participated in a festive ribbon cutting ceremony. The two-hour launch featured two hands-on demonstrations -- the science of fingerprinting and a presentation by a local forensic scientist who is also a former Fulbright scholar.
Ambassador Welters stressed the importance of science to the future of both countries. She said, “This Science Corner is the product of a bilateral partnership through science diplomacy. Both of our countries value science in every related field and its contributions to political advancement, development, and cultural understanding. Each country has recognized science as an essential link to finding cures to diseases, fighting hunger, and preserving our natural resources for the next generations. Yet, with all of our efforts to create platforms for our scientists to discuss and collaborate, this will be fruitless if people lack access to research materials or interest in the field.”
The U.S. Science Corner, located in the bustling Young Adult Section of the National Library, provides aspiring scientists and researchers in Trinidad and Tobago with access to information that will help them become more competitive in science-related careers and ultimately make significant contributions to their country. The space will also host diverse activities, including a scholarly speaker series and science programming.
To encourage students to pursue college-level degrees in science and to enhance the Trinidad and Tobago science initiative, the U.S. Embassy selected three recipients of the National Youth Science Camp Scholarship: Simone Renwick, Shastri Ram, and Mas Akeen Andrew Matthews. The budding scientists will join U.S. and international students on an all-expense-paid trip to participate in research projects with U.S. scientists for one month. These young scholars participated in the launch of the Science Corner, and spoke enthusiastically about their love of science and their excitement about participating in the upcoming camp. The Science Corner launch kicked off a week-long series of events including workshops for 80 librarians and NGO leaders on how to effectively fundraise and network.
Vice Consul Donya Eldridge noted, “We are most excited about the Caribbean's first U.S. Science Corner because of its infinite possibilities to impact the community. Once people are given access to information, the outcomes are limitless.”