students career program

US Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean, Larry Palmer, hands over a check to SPISE director Cardinal Ward for the Dominican students (in orange) to attend the program

Two Dominican students have participated in a four-week program initiated by the Caribbean Science Foundation geared at promising students interested in exploring careers in science and engineering.

The program was held at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus.

Obe Joseph and Nyana George, of the Dominica State College, who recently returned to Dominica, received a grant of about $24,000 from the United States Embassy in Barbados to make it possible for them to participate in the 2013 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE).

The two spent four weeks of their summer vacation at the UWI Campus studying Science, Biochemistry, Physics, Robotics and Electronics, Entrepreneurship, Calculus and an introduction to Mandarin.

Joseph told DNO that in addition to studying, they received the opportunity to learn about other cultures, attend career seminars and meet other students from across the region.

“It is a very well rounded program and I enjoyed it a lot since you get to build various healthy relationships with other students from the Caribbean,” she said. “I did not know what I wanted to do with my life, career wise, although I know I had an interest in Math and Physical Science and when I saw the program I felt that it would be a great way to guide me and because of this program I am actually considering Electrical Engineering.”

George added that the program was a fulfilling opportunity for her.

“It was an opportunity to develop myself and become a better individual … it really helped to determine which direction I could take in my career path,” she said. “It also helped me develop certain skills in problem solving.  I got exposed to a lot of different labs. We got the opportunity to test individuals for AIDS although the profiles were not real; we also got the chance to build a robot.”

The program, which was launched in August 2012, is an intensive four week enrichment residential summer program for promising Caribbean students who are interested in careers in science and engineering.

The goal is to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering.  It is specifically geared at students between the ages of 16 and 18 years.

Joseph who is a Biology, Math and Physics major received the awards for Calculus 1, Robotics and the Spirit of Spice Award, while Math and Physics major, George, received an award for Physics.

The students both received certificates of completion at the end of the program.