2013 Event


In the 12 countries where the Visionaries Challenge was piloted, officials received close to 170 submissions from over 100 schools.

Students first competed at the National level and had the opportunity to win prizes which included a computerized technology centre and science kits for the school. One student representative also earned a trip, with a teacher, to Florida, for an all-expenses-paid S.T.E.M.-related tour. The tour included visits to the Kennedy Space Center, the Museum of Science & Industry, Disney World’s EPCOT theme park and the University of South Florida. On April 13th, 2013 national winners assembled in Barbados at the regional competition for the final phase of the Visionaries Challenge. Bishop Martin High School from Belize, emerged as the inaugural champion with their project “Coconuts 4 Life”.

During the exciting S.T.E.M. tour in July students and teachers had a hands-on look at nanotechnology, alternative energy, the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building, rocketry and hydroponics. At the EPCOT theme park they visited the “Behind the Seeds” attraction which focuses on sustainable agriculture.

  • Anguilla
    Anguilla The Albena Lake Hodge Comprehensive School – Alternative Energy Revolutionized

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner AnguillaIn our community, the challenge we are faced with is the high consumption and rising cost of electricity. This results from the increased use of technology and appliances, and our reliance on fossil fuels. Many homes and businesses are burdened with bills, and a great number are even without electricity. 
Given this, we want to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel energy by promoting the use of alternative energy.

    Our solution is the implementation of Fuel Cell Technology in our community. This technology converts chemical energy from water molecules into electrical energy, and vice versa. It provides clean, harmless energy and also functions as a storage device.

    We decided to couple this idea with solar panels in order to make the system completely tied to alternative energy.
Our project relies heavily on chemistry, engineering and technology; from the splitting of water molecules, to the complex design of the fuel cell and solar panels.
If the utilization of alternative energy becomes wide spread throughout the Caribbean, our countries can lessen the imports of oil and fuel from overseas, and will consequently save considerable sums of money which can in turn lighten the burden on homes and businesses in terms of taxes and electricity bills.

    Where the environment is concerned, it will create a cleaner atmosphere with the reduction of carbon emissions and oil spills and other environmental hazards that we are faced with today.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
    Antigua and Barbuda St. Joesph’s Academy – 213 JKD (M)T Mulching Remote Control Lawnmower

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner Antigua & BarbudaScientific Advancement and Technology stepping into the 21st century, has everybody living on the edge. Brilliant Inventions have been made by many great inventors, whose purposes were to make the human life always better than before. Since God had made the first man to walk the earth, humans have always had the ambition to improve their life. I must join in agreement that each of these inventions is very important and help to make our life more beneficial and comfortable to live.

    Our invention for 2013 is to build a 213 JKD[M]T Mulching Remote Control Lawnmower®. This 213 JKD[M]T® will be used in the household, at schools and within the communities. We came up with this idea by watching persons struggling to groom fertilize and control the grass weeds in their yards. This mulching remote control Lawnmower can be used to help people such as farmers who own and want to cut large acres of land for planting, persons who make grass cutting a hobby and persons who are way old to do it themselves and financially unsuitable to hire someone to do it. A great scenario is that of my neighbor who is an elderly woman between the ages of 60-65 years. As I sat and observed how tired, useless and desperate she was after continuously mowing her grass using the conventional lawn mower, I thought that a 213 JKD[M]T® would be very beneficial to her especially the area of removing the cut grass.

    Our aim is to lessen the walking, the pushing, the pulling for people in our communities especially the elderly and the janitors in our school. A brief explanation of how this 213 JKD[M]T® works is to sit down on your patio in a case of community or sit in front the acre of land in the case of the grass cutter and control that lawnmower from cutting to collecting to fertilizing.

    There’s no pushing, no pulling and no ridiculous charges and no hard labor. Also, as mentioned previously cutting someone’s grass or hiring someone to cut a grass is expensive. For a farmer it’s a lot of land so having our special made 213 JKD [M]T Mulching Remote Control Lawnmower® can change that hard work into relaxation. Would you truly want to spend so much money in these hard economic times, when you can cut your own grass and fertilize your soil from sitting on your patio for free.

    We have also invented an apparatus for ensuring that the grass would be cleaned up by that same lawnmower. This mulching remote control lawnmower would suck in the excessive dry weeds preventing the irritation of the nose especially to those who have sinus problems. Rather than having it bagged (which is invented) and left to burn which would cause air to be polluted, our 213 JKD[M]T® mulching remote control lawnmower can use the grass that is collected after its job is done to be put to use as compost.

    Those household owners with children who are allergic to grass will now have their problems solved and their children can play in the yards allergy free without complaining of particles from the grass being in their eyes. This majestic devise will be environmentally friendly being safe for children both at home and in schools.

    In conclusion building a 213 JKD[M]T Mulching Remote Control Lawnmower® that has the ability to cut, collect and convert this will allow the consumer to save money and treat the lands all at the same time which is very cost efficient, user friendly and environmentally sound.

  • Barbados
    Barbados St Winfred’s School – Healthier Lungs with the help of the CARbon-ionser

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner BarbadosAsthma is a chronic disease worldwide. An 8 year study in Barbados suggested that one cause of the high number of asthma cases in the island is air pollution due to vehicular emissions containing carbon particles. The study showed that the densely populated parish of St Michael which has the highest number of vehicles on the road had the highest incidence of asthma attacks – an average of 5.3 per 100 population per annum. A European Union report found that there were 100,960 vehicles on Barbados’s roads in 2010 and, because we have a large number of pedestrians, many end up suffering from asthma.

    In our school, 7.7% of students suffer from asthma and approximately 300 vehicles come into the school twice each day; consequently for about 2 hours each morning and afternoon students are exposed to increased levels of carbon particles.

    We would like to reduce the quantity of carbon particles given off by vehicles by inserting a device that we have designed, using scientific principles, into their exhausts to extract the carbon particles. Our device is low maintenance and inexpensive. It can be cleaned by removing it from the exhaust and tapping it. The carbon just drops off and can be collected and used to benefit the environment.

    By tackling this issue, we are striving to decrease the number of people suffering from asthma in our country which would improve the health of Barbadians, reduce demands on health services and improve standards of living.

  • Belize
    Belize Bishop Martin High School - Coconuts 4 Life

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner BelizeNearly 9 of every 10 of Bishop Martin High School (our school) students buy flavored drinks over water. The only flavored drinks available to them in school and nearby are sodas and juices with artificial additives. These drinks habitually cost double and triple what other drinks cost, making them an unviable venture in our school cafeteria and nearby snack shops.

    Our community, and Belize, does not have a plastic recycling facility. All plastic waste from beverages stays on school grounds, and will persist (anywhere it is put) for centuries until it is degraded into plastic dust. We will serve coconut water in its shell.

    We planned ‘Coconuts 4 Life’ as a multifarious solution that would make our school and community more sustainable.

    We plan to grow a coconut orchard and ecological park in our school ground that will:
1) Produce coconut water for students.
2) Produce coconut material (snacks, ornamentals & jewelry, buttons) that will be employed so nothing is wasted.
3) Offer an open place for students and people to play and relax.

    Our design will include: 
1. Plan awareness of the health and environmental benefits for hydrating with coconut water.
2. Determine resources needed
3. Plan acquisition of resources

    Method Used Linkage to STEM

    Survey on students buying habits and knowledge of observed situation Mathematics, Consumer Arithmetic
Test Dehydration & Health of Students Mathematics, Science
Measure Plastic Waste and Total Waste Mathematics
Survey Land Engineering
Soil Testing Chemistry
Plot Orchard Engineering
Awareness Campaign Video Video Graphic design, Technology
Planning of resources needed Mathematics
Plan acquisition of resources Mathematics

  • Dominica
    Dominica St. Martin Secondary School: Flushometer – little water, big flush

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner DominicaAt the school the type of toilet used is a flushometer, i.e., tankless style toilet. In comparison to the traditional toilets which flush 6-8 liters per flush, the Flushometer uses 1 liter per flush. This type of toilet depends on pressure to flush effectively. At the times the water pressure is low or non-existent, the toilet is unable to flush. As the toilet builds up waste from the students´ use throughout the day, it creates an unsanitary environment for them. Hence the introduction of a pressure bladder tank could solve the problem.

The pressure bladder tank will be connected to a water tank of 800 gallons by pipes of width 1 inch. For this to be effective, a large supply of water needs to be constantly available in the tank. Thus, water will be sourced from rainfall.
The pressure bladder tank uses electricity. Solar panels will be installed to generate the electricity needed.

    Linking solution to S.T.E.M:

    Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
Use of solar panels to produce electricity Solar energy Installation of pipes, and tanks Cost analysis (cost of installation, etc.)
Air pressure in bladder tanks Mechanics of system operation Measurements

    How this solution makes a more sustainable Caribbean community?

    Countries which do not have large sources of water can use this type of toilet since it relies more on pressure to flush than on water. The use of solar energy will positively impact electricity bills. A school population can venture into this initiative to cut cost.

  • Grenada
    Grenada T.A. Marryshow Community College – Water Striders: - Conserving Water and Promoting Health by Going Green

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner GrenadaThe challenge that we face at our school is multifaceted . We have observed that at our school, there is a high reliance on tap water for use in the Science laboratories. Also, health and cleanliness is almost ignored at our school as seen by the increased presence of used plastic bottles around the campus, unhealthy eating and, additionally, the lack of hygienic soap in the majority of our bathroom facilities. Thus, we have devised one clever solution which involves S.T.E.M (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) to combat these challenges and to produce a more sustainable community.

    Our solution contains many different parts which are all linked together to help solve the problems at our school. Rainwater will be collected and stored in clean covered tanks using guttering systems. This water can be used for the irrigation of plants in the school’s greenhouses, both a new and already existing one, which will be used to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, thus promoting healthy eating and providing an excellent avenue for scientific research. Moreover, organic soaps will be manufactured at a national laboratory located on the school’s campus using some of the produce in our greenhouses. Bins will be placed around the campus to collect used plastic bottles and, utilizing these recycled materials as containers, the soaps will be distributed among the various bathrooms on campus. Additionally, the collected rainwater will be used for cleaning and distillation in the Science laboratories (especially during heavy rainfall), using solar energy to power the distiller, thereby cutting costs. Finally, waste water from the labs will be run to a tank where algae will be used to partially purify the water by removing many chemicals. This water can then be used for general cleaning of materials such as the recycled plastic bottles.

  • Guyana
    Guyana Zeeburg Secondary School – Use of a shrimp dryer to reduce Air Pollution at Zeeburg Secondary School

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner GuyanaZeeburg Secondary is part of a fishing community located near to the Atlantic Ocean. Shrimp drying is done on the seawall next to the school. The shrimp is steamed in a metal drum on the seawall to aid in the removal of the shell.

    After steaming for about an hour it is placed on the concrete seawall. The heat from the concrete and the sun aids in the drying process. This practice produces an unpleasant odour; an infestation of flies which pollute the environment. This severely affects teachers and students during instructional hours. There are two shrimp season per year. Each season lasts for approximately three months.

    The first season runs from January – March and the second season runs from September – November.
A batch consists of approximately 1000 kg of shrimp. Drying on the seawall takes approximately 3 days per batch. Two batches are completed in a week. Weekly revenue of $ 5000 USD is earned. Because of the exposure of shrimp on the seawall, the best food safety practices are not observed.

    The team proposes the construction of a shrimp processor to reduce the adverse environmental effects experienced by the school and its immediate community. The construction of a shrimp processer will be useful during the rainy season.

    Food safety practices can be better implemented with use of the drier. The drier will be solar powered and reduce the time taken to process the shrimp. Alternative energy sources for the shrimp dryer can be harvested from sources such as: coconut shells; sawdust; or wind energy. The construction and use of a shrimp processor will contribute to an improved environment for learning. It will also provide students and teachers with relevant information on the operations of the shrimp processor. Zeeburg secondary will be able to use the processor for experiments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  • Jamaica
    Jamaica Wolmer’s Boys School – Electro-Light; Making your electricity bill lighter

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner JamaicaMany people find it difficult and unbearable when at the end of each month they are issued a high electricity bill. There is also the issue of JPS meters not being properly regulated or faulty, thus giving an estimate that is incorrect (most times overpriced).  What if one could know the approximation of their bill before the actual bill is received or anytime they felt like checking it? What if one could regulate and monitor the amount of electricity being used in their homes?

    The Solution:
The device is both software and hardware integrated. The hardware when connected to a breaker would record the input and control flow of electricity within the home.  The program is then designed to take that input/recorded data and calculate an estimated bill base on the amount of electricity used, rate of electricity and service charge. Before this bill can be produced the program will first prompt the user to enter the power use as can be read on the meter. The device will then take the recorded input and mathematically calculate the estimated bill base on the amount of electricity used at that instance.  The Science is that of knowledge of power use and electricity, Technology and Engineering is in the device being developed which will use a Mathematical equation to calculate the cost of electricity use at anytime.

    The Caribbean Community will benefit by being able to know their energy cost anytime and control electricity use by setting input limits thus helping to lower the country’s energy expenses.

  • St. Kitts and Nevis
    St. Kitts and Nevis Washington Archibald High School – When Rubber Hit the Road

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner St.Kitts & NevisToo often we are faced with the task of replace walkways around our school and its vicinity. Because of budgetary constraints, these replacements take an awful long period of time and as a result the area around the school is esthetically unappealing and sometimes the broken pavements result in injuries

    Links your solution to the use of STEM

    The students will work alongside the Ministry of Public Works to design a pavement that can withstand frequent traffic, is cost-effective and is environmentally friendly. To do this, the students will seek to incorporate old car tires into a “pavement formula” design and tested by the student with the assistance of the engineers at the Public Works Department.

    Explains how your solution makes a more Sustainable Caribbean Community

    The recent surge in the number of cars on the island has resulted in the buildup of a large amount of used and discarded tires. These tires make their way to the landfills and often in our waterways and green-spaces (for example hiking trails). To continue to building landfills is unsustainable for such a Small Island State. The engineering design will provide a more viable alternative to get rid of these waste tires while at the same time providing a more cost-effective solution to the designing and laying of pavements.

  • St Lucia
    St Lucia St. Mary’s College – Obstacle Detector for the Visually Impaired

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner St.LuciaIn St. Lucia, as well as most third world countries, the technology used to aid visually impaired persons is very primitive. For the past several decades, persons have relied on canes and guide dogs, but with new technology this old fashion trend can be eliminated.

    While watching a TV commercial for a new car that was fitted with a sensor on the rear bumper which alerts the driver when there is an obstacle behind the vehicle while reversing. Through fascination about this concept, the idea of providing haptic feedback to a visually impaired person arose. This project plans to integrate the Range Finder Sensors along with vibration motors and an Arduino Microcontroller. It aims to provide an unsurpassed advantage when compared to a cane or a dog for the visually impaired. The rangefinders would take input from the sensors and output feedback to the vibration motors placed on a person’s head. As a person gets closer to an object the intensity and frequency of the vibration would increase i.e. its directly proportional to the distance of an object. Hence if there is no feedback in a given direction it is free of an obstacle of close proximity. Everything would be assembled into a headband.

    The project involves several disciplines of science; ranging from Engineering to Mathematics. In the aspect of engineering, the projects involve a circuit with various components such as semi-conductor logic gates, as well as a microcontroller. In addition to this algorithms had to be constructed to give the microcontroller its instructions. Due to the nature of the sensors and it working on the phenomena of sonar waves; mathematical variables had to be established to come up with a functioning code (written in Wiring using the Arduino IDE v 1.0.1) to guide the entire circuit.

    This project will result in the visually impaired function better in society, given them their independence. They will no longer be viewed as “outcasts” or “handicapped” and the stigma associated with the blind or visually impaired will slowly disappear with this project and future implementations to the prototype. The Caribbean Community will be strengthened because with this device, the visually impaired can now contribute to society with less limitations.

  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
    St. Vincent & the Grenadines St. Vincent Girls High School – Paper Bricks

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner St.Vincent & the GrenadinesThe abundance of paper in our schools, work places and homes is becoming a bothersome. Along with visual pollution and littering, paper tends to attract and act as a home for many insects, creatures and rodents. Therefore, paper disposal methods or lack thereof are contributing to pollution of our environment.

    My solution is to recycle paper and reuse it as a form of clean fuel. I would use the paper to make a ‘Fire Brick’, which can be used in grills, camp fires and as a fuel for generation of electricity. This type of bio fuel will be eco friendly and cheap to produce and maintain.
A ‘Fire Brick’ is a block of flammable matter used as a fuel to maintain a fire. The ‘Fire Brick” will be made from paper such as;  paper, cardboard, newspaper, which has been shredded and put to soak in water, then compressed to be used as a fuel when dried. This bio fuel will be a substitute to coal and charcoal.

    The increase in the level of garbage pollution, and the amount of green house gases emitted into the atmosphere daily, can be controlled by the implementation of this project. By the implementation of a rigid recycling scheme of paper from our homes, work places and schools, it would control the amount garbage disposed on a weekly base.
A paper and water mixture will be measured out accurately using a cup to determine how much paper will be used to make one brick. This will help with the consistency of the density of the fire blocks. A mold will be designed and made in which the paper will be placed to shape out the fire bricks.
A compressing mechanism will then be assembled to get rid of all the water from the mixture to make the bricks. Due to the flammable nature of paper, the fire bricks would light easier, burn cleaner and slower than charcoal when dried.

    The use of my solution would minimize the amount of paper disposed improperly daily throughout the region and it would also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air from the burning process of garbage. With the use of these fire bricks, the need for charcoal would reduce; hence, deforestation would cease to occur on a regular base, thus resulting in a cleaner and cooler environment.

  • Trinidad & Tobago
    Trinidad & Tobago Naparima Girls' High School – So who is the Farmer in your Neighborhood

    Sagicor Visonaries 2013 Winner Trinidad & TobagoTrinidad and Tobago spends billions importing foods which can be profitably grown locally using modern agricultural methods.  The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service lists The Caribbean Basin as the 7th largest export market for US consumer – oriented foods. Food imports have increased food prices in the region, reducing families’ buying power and increasing the need for Government food subsidies. Traditional regional agricultural exports are no longer as profitable. Entrepreneurship in agriculture is crucial to address food security and encourage non – traditional agricultural exports.

    It is proposed that the following can increase food security in a sustainable Caribbean community:
-      The marketing of  kitchen garden kits containing pots/ troughs/hydroponic systems, soil, nursery plants, fertilizer, tools and instructions. A kitchen garden in school will act as a model with produce sold within the school community.

    – A ‘buy local ‘campaign in neighborhood supermarkets.

    STEM linkages:

    Science – the use of genetically modified crops which grow faster, need less space, are higher yielding and pest – resistant

    Technology – the use of modern farming methods including hydroponics, green fertilizers
- The use of modern means of communication for advertising , sales and raising awareness including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, mainstream media
Environment – The agriculture and tourism industries are historically the mainstays of many island economies. Respect for the environment can be nurtured as families understand its value in food production.

    Mathematics – The calculation of space required per plant, soil volume, fertilizers, costs and profits
- Projection of reduced food costs to a family having a kitchen garden.



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