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Students focus vision


Joshua Parris, Sabrina DaSilva, Rachel Simm and Richard Estwick of The St. Winifred’s School with their winnings.

St. Winifred’s, the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary and St. George Secondary came out on top of the inaugural Sagicor Visionaries Challenge National Competition.

The schools received awards in a short prize-giving ceremony this afternoon at the St. Winifred’s Pine Hill, St. Michael location, for participation and success in the local challenge, which saw 170 entries from throughout the Caribbean.

Assistant Vice President of Marketing, Sagicor Life Inc, Tracey Knight-Lloyd, congratulated all the students who entered, telling them it was a rewarding journey for the company as well.

“[W]e hope it has inspired you, the participants, to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM. Our partners, the Caribbean Science Foundation and the Caribbean Examinations Council have been an integral part of this formula, sharing their expertise and contributing to the development and success of this inaugural challenge,” she said.

From inception, the Ministry of Education, teachers and students had supported the Visionaries Challenge, she added, with Sagicor Science Champions brainstorming project ideas with said teachers and students to help them realise how simple it was to identify an issue in their community and find viable solutions.

“From there the participants took the news of the challenge back to their schools and as a result, in the 12 countries where the challenge was held, we received close to 170 submissions from over 100 schools.

The hope, she said, was that in addition to opening the minds of the region’s students, the challenge would help to “pave the way for innovative developments which will improve the lives of generations to come”.

A team from St. Winifred’s, with a project titled Healthier Lungs with the help of the CARbon-ioniser, was the local winners; while agri-based sustainable projects titled, Greenhouse & Livestock Sustainability and Green Light, It Doesn’t Only Glow It Grows won St. George Secondary and the Seventh Day Adventist schools second and third places respectively.

The team leader and a teacher from the winning school will now travel to Florida for a STEM tour of the Kennedy Space Centre, the Museum of Science and Industry, Disney World’s Epcot theme park and the Patel School of Global Sustainability.

Additionally, the schools won CXC Biology, Chemistry and Physics approved science kits, while the first and second place winners were also presented with Vernier science kits, which combines technological advancements in sensors and other interfaces in a handheld computer device that can be used in science experiments and analyses.

Challenge leader with the Caribbean Science Foundation, Dr. Maya Trotz, said the prizes should enhance the work the students were already doing in the classrooms.

She said she was impressed with the innovation she had seen and the foundation would work to follow up on the projects to ensure their viability did not die at the end of the competition, but where possible the students were encouraged to push the projects to fruition. (LB)

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