WAHS wins National Sagicor Visionaries Competition

Annick Bedford and Education Officials

(EMU) – St. Kitts, March 22, 2013: A student at the Washington Archibald High School, Annick Bedford, successfully led her team to victory in the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge National Competition which featured innovations in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Her entry suitably titled “Rubberized Asphalt” emerged as the winning piece using the criteria which established it as a feasible solution to a problem being experienced in the Caribbean Community.

Annick, along with representatives from other competing schools, participated in the exhibition which was held at Independence Square on Thursday, March 21. The other competing schools included the Gingerland Secondary School (GSS) which placed second and the Immaculate Conception Catholic School (ICCS) which placed third.

The GSS with its entry entitled “RENEW” (Recycle Never Ever Waste) displayed items such as shopping bags made from capri sun containers and chandeliers made from plastic bottles. The ICCs entry featured the creation of solar panel conductors that would help to reduce the issue of high electricity bills in schools.

Dr. Leighton Naraine, leader of the panel of esteemed judges, explained that they were all very impressed with the entries but the criteria determined the overall winner. The areas of concentration included: Relevance to Sustainable Caribbean Communities; creativity and Innovation; Content and Knowledge of Project; Project Plan and Design; STEM Linkage, Methods of investigation, Presentation and Public Engagement at the Exhibition.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett, applauded the students on their successful science based projects and for being able to successfully link societal problems to relevant creative solutions by applying scientific knowledge they acquired in the classroom.

Mrs. Liburd Willett said she was grateful for the collaboration between the Caribbean Science Foundation, The Caribbean Examinations Council, SAGICOR and the Ministry of Education whose partnership will help to promote learning, engagement and innovation in science, which is a step in the right direction. She further stated ‘The principal goals are relevant and have value to ignite interest in our youth to use innovation in science and technology; to help to build and integrate sustainable communities throughout the Caribbean; to boost institutional capacity in science and technology in Caribbean primary and secondary schools and to integrate knowledge gained from formal and informal education.”

Each participating school received a fully computerized Science Kit.

Along with Dr. Leighton Naraine, the panel of judges included Mr. Mario Williams, Civil Engineer; Mr. Greg Williams, Civil Engineer; Mr. Malcolm Knight, Mechanical Engineer; Mrs. Bernadette Riley Morton, Chemistry Lecturer, and Mr Calvin Cable, Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Annick Bedford will compete in the Regional Sagicor Visionaries Challenge later this year where she will vie for the winning prize of US$5000 for her school as well as an “all expense paid” week long trip to Florida. If she is successful, she will visit the Kennedy Space Centre, Epcot Centre and the Florida Institute for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The Ministry of Education and Information extends heartiest congratulations to the Washington Archibald High School and wishes Ms Bedford well.

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