Ethan Slocock: Dart Scholar Update

Ethan Slocock, a 2016 Dart Scholar, is currently finishing his A Levels at Bryanston in the United Kingdom; and participated in the past three Dart Scholar summer enrichment trips to Toronto, Canada; Oxford University and Clare College at Cambridge. Ethan is planning on a career in computer engineering and spent the past two summers working in the Dart Work-X summer programme with the IT team. Read on to learn more about Ethan, his experience as a Dart Scholar and his plans for the year ahead.

Tell us about your school life these days.

I’m still attending Bryanston where I am half way through my A Levels. At the end of this year I will be done with A Levels and looking at universities in the United Kingdom. I’m thinking about data science and statistics but I need to explore all the degree options. 

I enjoy Bryanston, it’s a co-ed boarding school where I play squash, run cross country and I participate in Crest Award which is a nationally recognised scheme for student-led project work in the STEM subjects. I’m leading a research project about animal emotions, in particular I’m looking at how mice, elephants, squid and similar animals demonstrate empathy. It’s hard to identity other emotions in animals so I am looking at empathy and how they exhibit this emotion. We have a large library at Bryanston where I am combing through past studies to support my own project.

How do you enjoy living in the UK?

I’d spent some of my summers there before so I was familiar with the UK but it’s still a big change from Cayman. I had to adjust to a bigger place and different people. The people are lovely but it’s just a change from everything from weather to tastes of music to the pace of life.

Tell us about your 2019 summer Work-X experience? Did it help with your current career path or is this a chance for you to see other options out there?

This past summer, I worked with the IT team and helped with asset management, ensuring all the equipment is registered and tracked. Dart is such a big company so that was a task that kept me quite busy. I helped set up equipment for new employees and summer students, as well as relocating employees from one desk to another. I also assisted with the service desk where I helped solve computer problems and that was a valuable experience because I got to help with a little bit of everything. I had to learn a little about each problem in order to know who to go to, and where to find the solution. For example, I had to be able to identify if it’s a networking problem, a hardware problem, etc. so I would know which team member to work with to get it fixed.  

What led you to apply for Dart High School Scholarship?

My brother told me about the scholarship as he had applied before me and I was attracted to the whole package that is offered. Of course the financial support is huge as I don’t think I’d be studying at Bryanston if it wasn’t for this scholarship, but also the opportunities that come with the scholarship such as the work experience. I was able to learn so much about the working world at Dart these past two summers and it’s helped guide my career path. I was also intrigued by the enrichment trips which have been a great experience. They are fun, well put together trips that stretch our knowledge and allow us to get to know the other Dart Scholars. I’ve been to Toronto, Oxford and Cambridge and they have all been so different. On the Toronto trip in 2018, we went to the waste management facility which was timely with what was being reported on in the news for Cayman’s own landfill situation. To be able to go to the site in Toronto and learn how it works was a great experience. For me, it’s easier to understand how something works if I can look at it and experience it rather than being told or reading about it. During our trip to Oxford, I took a computer science course which was a really good opportunity for me to try an A Level computer science course as I was unable to take the course at Cayman Prep due to scheduling conflicts. This last summer, we went to Clare College in Cambridge where I took another tech course on encryption and security which was perfect for my current career goals. The trips really provide a unique way to learn and it’s been great to be involved as a Dart Scholar.

Do you have any advice for other students that are looking at studying STEM subjects?

I recommend all students consider STEM subjects and try them all. Don’t get too focused too early, explore everything so you can find where your passion lies. I started doing robotics in year seven and was able to find my interest in computers from there. You never know how much you will enjoy something until you try it.