The St. Martin Secondary School (SMSS) has emerged national champions of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge for the second consecutive year.
A panel of eight judges declared Geaselle Blaize, of the SMSS, winner at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Monday 15th December, with her project dubbed ‘Techno Gardeners.’
SMSS also captured awards for best plan and project design and the ‘Most Relevant to Sustainable Caribbean Communities’ award.
Addressing his first function in his new term as Honourable Education Minister, Petter Saint Jean said these competitions are necessary, since scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important due to challenges of globalization and a knowledge- based economy.
“It is therefore imperative that you have for yourselves a comfortable niche in this competitive environment,” the Hon. Minister appealed.
“In so doing, you students need to develop your capabilities in science and technology, engineering and mathematics as the demand for skilled workers in those areas is closely linked to global competitiveness.”
The Hon. Minister pledged his Ministry’s commitment to develop Dominica’s students for a sustainable economy.
“I want to state here that my Ministry supports the view of Sagicor, the Caribbean Science Foundation and CXC, that science, technology, engineering and mathematics, generally referred to as S.T.E.M., must be given priority in our schools’ curriculum.”
According to Hon. Saint Jean, S.T.E.M. education will assist in creating critical thinkers, increasing science literacy and enabling and inspiring the next generation of innovators.
The Dominica State College captured the first runner-up position its ‘Asphalt Filtration’ project, which was also dubbed the most creative and innovative project, while the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School’s ‘Bio Gas’ project captured third place as well as the ‘Best Presentation’ award.
The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge targeted students’ ability to identify a problem within their community and develop viable solutions.
Over eight countries participated in the 2nd annual event, acquiring over one hundred and seventy submissions from about one hundred schools in the Caribbean.
Representatives of national school winners and their respective teacher will participate in a seven-day, all-expenses S.T.E.M. Ambassador Programme where they will visit an astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center in the United States. The S.T.E.M. Ambassador Programme will be held in July 2015, in Tampa Florida.