Students from various high schools around Dominica are currently participating in the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge National Finals at the Goodwill Parish Hall.
The Visionaries Challenge, which was conceptualized by Sagicor Life Inc., the Caribbean Science Foundation in partnership with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), involves secondary school students who have identified a challenge facing their respective schools and using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) developed effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified.
According to Cheryl Rolle, General Agent of Sagicor Life Inc., the challenge was established as a way to encourage young people to think of innovative ways that can sustain the region.
“It is to solve problems facing our communities and it is also to make school more practical. A lot of times you may wonder why you are at school and you may be bored but if you see something that is practical and applicable and can blend in with the Maths and the Science that you are doing doesn’t that make it more interesting?” she noted.
Additionally, the organizers hope to foster innovation among regional students and provide an avenue for them to explore and develop the integration and application of science, through the competition.
The top three teams will take away prizes for their school which will enhance learning. The prizes include a computerized technology centre with easy to use data loggers, censors, experiments and graphic analysis software and science kits for the school.
The winning school will move on to the final regional competition in Barbados in April with the chance to win an all expenses paid participation in the STEM Ambassador Program in Florida.
One student representative will also travel with a teacher to Florida for an all expenses paid STEM related tour which includes visits to the Kennedy Space Centre, the Museum of Science and Industry, Disney World’s Epcourt Theme Park and the Patal School of Global Sustainability.