The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge (SVC) is a design competition in which students in schools work in teams and use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to solve a problem in their school or community. The SVC is a collaborative programme between Sagicor, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Today the second annual highly competitive national SVC came to an end in Belize City where judges had the hard task of picking the winning projects amongst 32 projects that were on display from 28 high schools across the county including Muffles High School, Bishop Martin High School and Technical High School from Orange Walk.
The overall goal of the program is to create more sustainable communities by promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in schools, according to contest Sagicor’s Belize Executive Abel Simpson.
In order to participate the high schools identified challenges facing the school and the community that could be solved under the umbrella of STEM.
As one can imagine, the challenges identified can vary from battling mosquitoes, sanitary landfill, locating of fruit trees in the classrooms to clear the air. Muffles High School was one of the institutions that represented Orange Walk in the competition.
At the end each proposal must have shown how the solution to the challenge would contribute to the advanced sustainability of the Caribbean communities. And there were some projects that could be implemented by the local private sector.
When the winners were announced Bishop Martin High School were named the overall winners of the competition. They will compete in the regional competition which is judged online. If selected as the regional winners the group will receive US$5,000 as first prize for their school. In 2013 Bishop Martin High School entered the National Sagicor Visionaries Challenge and was named the National Champions with their Coconut for Life Project. The win earned the Science group a spot in the regional competition that took place in Barbados and they were also named the regional champions of the Sagicor Challenge, so they are no strangers to the competition.
The top three winners received cash prizes and science kits for their schools. As for second and third place both were taken by Saint Catherine’s Academy in Belize City. Of note is that one representative from each winning team, will travel to Tampa, Florida for the STEM Ambassador Programme in July 2015. All expenses will be covered.