After yielding much success through a pilot competition last year, Guyana has once again signed up to participate in the region’s most exciting science competition – the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge.
The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor Life Inc teamed up in 2012 to launch the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Competition, which engages secondary school students in the Caribbean to develop problem-solving skills. Guyana participated in 2013 when the regional competitions were held, along with 12 other countries across the region.
Of the 19 schools that participated in the local version, Zeeburg Secondary outshone its competitors with the project “A solution to a shrimp drying situation”.
They went on to represent Guyana at the regional leg of the competition.
Once again, participating students will be challenged to identify a problem facing their school or community and use Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to determine a sustainable solution.
This experience allows them to put classroom theories into practise so as to stimulate their interest in the sciences and encourage them to pursue careers in that field.
Last year, Guyana recorded the highest number of national entries with a total of 33 projects, putting the country on top; however, this year, over 70 entries were submitted, resulting in Guyana leading in the highest number of entries in the region.
The national leg of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge will be held on November 28 and 29 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Homestretch Avenue, Georgetown.
The national competition is being planned and coordinated by the Education and Culture, Youth and Sport Ministries, in collaboration with the Caribbean Science Foundation and Sagicor Life Inc.
Some of the outstanding projects entered are the use of paddy husk to make particle board, biological control for Chickungunya, automated sprinker system, water purification systems, fast food fuel, harnessing of rain water, making paper from rice straw, use of piezoelectricity, and Green spaces for a sustainable future.
In April last, the Education Ministry hosted its National Science Fair at the Anna Regina Secondary School in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) under the theme “Science, Mathematics and Technology: Providing solutions for the 21st Century”.
The format of the national science fair was revised to meet the requirements of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Competition, in preparation for the regional competition.
Additionally, several school-based workshops and follow up visits were also conducted by the Science Unit of the National Centre for Education Research Development (NCERD) in preparation for the national competition.
The participating countries in the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Competition, which was launched in September, are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Tampa, Florida (Hillsborough County, USA).
During the month of November, all the participating countries are required to host a national competition to select a team which will go on to represent it at the regional competition. Each of the winning national teams will meet in Florida in July 2015 for the regional competition and the STEM Ambassador Programme.