YOUNG VISIONARIES FROM ten of Barbados’ secondary schools will compete this Thursday, December 4, in the national finals of the 2014 Sagicor Visionaries Challenge being held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
The school emerging victorious will represent Barbados at the STEM Ambassador Programme coming in July 2015 in Tampa, Florida, where a regional Sagicor Visionaries Challenge winner will be chosen.
Barbadian students have submitted fourteen innovative projects to face the judges and these will be exhibited for public viewing from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Thursday’s finals. The exhibition will be followed by a prize giving ceremony to be addressed by Senator Harcourt Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Members of the public are urged to come out to support the event, as the annual programme has been hailed as a stimulating and motivational experience.
That assessment came from Peter DeFreitas, a science teacher and specialist in the teaching of physics who worked with Barbados’ inaugural Visionaries Challenge champion team, when St Winifred’s School lifted the Challenge in 2013. DeFreitas said since being involved in the programme, students had exhibited greater creativity and open-mindedness.
“It ignited the drive we needed to mobilise the minds of our youth. Too often we have seen brilliant students fall by the wayside due to lack of direction by programmes such as the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. It stimulated an awakening of the students to release their potential and brought a realisation to them that they can do so much more once they put their minds to it,” Defrietas said.
St Winifred’s School’s winning exhibit had been entitled Healthier Lungs with the Help of the CARbon-ioniser, an innovation which aimed to remove harmful particulate matter from vehicular exhausts.
The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge was conceptualised by Sagicor and the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), in partnership with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and aims to promote the use of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to problems facing the region.
Follow the progress of the 2014 Sagicor Visionaries Challenge at https://www.facebook.com/SagicorVisionaries. (PR)