News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – This new vision for education, currently underway in the Bermuda Public School System (BPSS), unites the government, non-profit and business partners with a single goal to empower students to reach their full potential.

BZS was chosen as the first Signature Learning Partner with the specific goal to help design and develop the new STEM curriculum and co-teach classes within CBA and through field investigation units around the island. This included taking the lead for this spring’s field investigation course with 3 classroom sessions and one field trip each week. The courses are designed to combine classroom learning with hands-on and real-world experiences to engage and immerse the students.

Gaelle Roth, volunteer veterinarian for BAMZ, talks to CBA students.

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To prepare for this new initiative and to meet the new demands at the senior level of the school system, the BZS hired a new educator and a curriculum designer to ensure the highest quality in both the STEM educational materials being developed and their delivery.

Additionally, the BZS Education Department has been engaging in significant professional development over the last three years to ensure the best pedagogical practices such as student-centered learning, scientific inquiry, project-based learning and engineering design are being implemented in the classroom and the field.

Speaking in the House of Assembly recently, the Minister of Education, Diallo Rabain, thanked the BZS for actively investing in the future of our country, and our children.

CBA students measuring the Green Sea Turtles at BAMZ during a STEM on site class.

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“This partnership continues to strengthen with representatives from BZS engaged in the design, development and now, the delivery of courses within the STEM Signature Learning Programme at CedarBridge Academy. Senior School students have the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest scientists in this region, applying knowledge in real work learning experiences such as field investigations on site at the Aquarium (BAMZ).”

The BZS has provided free environmental education to all Bermuda school children, but with an emphasis on Public Schools, since 1980. The aim has always been to inspire appreciation and care of island environments among young Bermudians, providing over 8000 student experiences annually in recent years.

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Mr Colin Brown, BZS president, said: “The BZS is proud to be the first of hopefully many partners working directly with and within CBA to support the STEM Signature. It is an all-inclusive, participatory approach involving students, teachers and BZS educators. Additionally, we believe this partnership will pave the way for future projects, initiatives, and programmes to ensure students develop a self-concept that includes high self-efficacy and motivation and knowledge that STEM is relevant to their everyday lives.”

“The BZS is constantly looking for new and innovative teaching tools to help engage students in the classroom, and we continue to develop educational resources to become permanent features within the public-school national curriculum,” said BZS Education Officer Dr Jamie Bacon.

Bringing science principles to life through field-based experiential learning is where we excel. The Education Reform pushes us to employ strategic and innovative education methods to develop knowledgeable, resilient, and adaptable students who will thrive in our ever-changing world.

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Mr Brown stated: “I applaud the team who have diligently worked on this initiative. They are forward thinkers who relentlessly find ways to create a brighter future for our youngsters. Introducing a new framework takes a lot of effort, and I applaud the commitment to Bermuda’s future stewards.

“I would also like to acknowledge and thank those in the community who have supported us through significant donations to our BZS educational programmes. We could not meet these community needs without them. As such, the BZS is well positioned in this space with our Living Classroom on Trunk Island and the facilities at BAMZ supporting the expansion of our educational programs. We appreciate there will be future needs in our Primary school programmes to feed into the STEM Signature.”

The shared mission of BZS and BAMZ is to inspire appreciation and care of island environments. As the support charity for BAMZ, the BZS is an example of a highly successful non-profit/public partnership. Each year the BZS provides thousands of free educational experiences through our Stempel Foundation BZS Schools Programme in addition to popular community programmes for all ages, the development of BAMZ exhibits, and conservation and research programmes. In addition, each year, BZS Volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours of valuable husbandry support to the Aquarium and Zoo, with all programmes accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.