The National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) was established as a statutory body by the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Act No. 20 of 1984, now Chapter 39:58. Since its establishment, NIHERST has resourcefully pursued its mandate to promote the development of science, technology, and higher education in Trinidad and Tobago, and enhance the innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial capabilities of the general population. The fulfilment of this mandate has been guided both by changes in national development priorities and government’s policy imperatives.
NIHERST’s work involves: Solution-Oriented Research, delivering research results of today to meet the STI challenges of tomorrow; Solution Oriented Innovation, strengthening the National Innovation and Technopreneurship System; Science Advancement, enhancing the scientific literacy of the population of Trinidad and Tobago; and Skills Development, facilitating growth of the capacity, capability and opportunity of the STEM labour force in T&T. NIHERST’s approach to achieving these goals is based on the institute’s mandate and its capabilities within the matrix of related institutions.
Additionally, under the umbrella of NIHERST, the National Science Centre (NSC) aims to advance the levels of scientific and technological literacy in both the children and adults of Trinidad & Tobago and the wider Caribbean, by presenting knowledge and experiences of Science and Technology in their most palatable forms. In so doing, we hope to support the formal science curriculum with our own informal brand of learning and in the process stimulate our young people to pursue careers in these fields.
NIHERST National Science Center
The NIHERST National Science Centre (NSC) champions a unique informal brand of learning through its diverse range of STI (Science, Technology, Innovation) popularisation and STEM education programmes for schools, teachers, and students from early childhood through to the tertiary level, communities, specialised groups and the general public (including families). In particular, the NSC Visitor and Outreach programmes offer out-of-school curriculum-based learning opportunities to reinforce and enhance the learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and develop key skills including problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, communication, and teamwork – to encourage the nation’s youth to pursue careers in STI fields. (STEM education).
The NSC Visitor and Outreach programme engages citizens in the experiential learning of STEM through hands-on and interactive exhibits and activities. NSC provides lifelong learning opportunities with the intent of promoting a culture of STI and stimulating public interests in STI and on STI issues. (STI engagement).
What are the exhibits & activities at NSC?
Over 300 science curriculum exhibits. A tour encompasses a visit to no less than 4 of the following themed exhibit areas: Virtual World, Brain Rush, Music Studio, TechKnoTheatre (live science demonstration shows), Planetarium, Kidiplay, Road Safety, Human Body & Crime Scene Investigation, Raging Planet, Energy Exhibits, Storytelling, Fab Lab, Robomania and the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) E-Scientia Exhibit. In addition to the identified areas, curriculum-based activities are developed for visitors upon request. Themed displays and age-appropriate activities are developed in accordance with the day/week being observed by the UN. Special collaborations with external agencies are also pursued upon request.
In summary, the Institute seeks to leverage its distinctive competencies to become a pivotal, internationally recognised agency that facilitates the utilisation of research, science, and technology in the service of economic transformation driven by innovation and competitiveness. It will play both a leadership role and a supporting role in advancing the aims of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and in conceptualising and driving new pathways and initiatives for public-private partnerships.
Mission Statement: To stimulate sustainable national capability and capacity in Science, Technology, Innovation, and Technopreneurship through insightful research and relevant programmes.
Vision Statement: We envisage a nation and region that apply scientific, technological, and innovative solutions to propel sustainable socio-economic and environmental transformation.
Tagline: Enabling society through Science and Innovation
NIHERST Core Values
|Diversity and Inclusion||We value diversity of thought. We believe it is core to innovation and the development of insightful programmes and initiatives that are distinct, effective and impactful. We are open to the diverse views of our employees in the planning, decision making and developmental processes. To achieve this “diversity of thought”, we will embrace a more diverse, high performance community of staff of different ages, academic and socioeconomic backgrounds and experiences.|
|Integrity and Transparency||We hold each other and our partners accountable to the highest standards of ethical behaviour. We adopt a zero-tolerance approach to corruption in any form and are honest and ethical in all our activities. We believe that our reputation is of utmost importance and conduct our activities with complete and open transparency. We are accountable and open in all our business practices.|
|Collaboration and Mutual Respect||We work in a collaborative environment in which teamwork and mutual respect for others are essential. We value the perspectives of our fellow team members and recognize that combining our knowledge enables us to find more robust solutions. We acknowledge the contributions that we each make to our shared success and we are committed to listening, communicating effectively and working congenially.|
|Excellence||We are committed to maintaining high standards of professionalism in the conduct, management and oversight of the work of the Institute. We strive to achieve the highest standards of performance in our programmes, projects, processes and business initiatives in order to provide the best value for money to members of the public and Trinidad and Tobago’s taxpayers.|
|Learning and Innovation||We are committed to building our internal capacity and embracing opportunities to learn and develop our knowledge, skills and abilities. We evaluate our initiatives and view both our successes and failures as opportunities to learn. We generate new ideas and approaches and are open to novel solutions in a collaborative and mutually supportive work environment that inspires creativity. We encourage and support “thinking outside the box”, improving our programmes and processes and creating value for our stakeholders. We are an internal movement challenging the conventional and launching the Institute into a robust, favourable new space!|
HEAD OFFICE: Opening hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday except for public holidays
NATIONAL SCIENCE CENTER:
Opening Hours (Temporarily closed due to pandemic restrictions):
Mon: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. / Tue-Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Weekends: open for special events only