Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) has partnered with Sagicor and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to launch the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. This challenge targets secondary school students who are encouraged to identify a challenge facing their respective school, school of choice, or community and, using Science Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM), develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified. We strongly believe that innovation in STEM must play a critical role in overcoming the challenges to building successful sustainable communities. We developed this Challenge to:
- Boost institutional capacity in STEM in the secondary schools in the Caribbean;
- Ignite interest among youth for innovation in STEM to help build sustainable communities throughout the Caribbean; and
- Integrate knowledge gained from formal and informal education to enable tomorrow’s leaders to build a more sustainable Caribbean.
For the first year, the challenge is open to the following twelve Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago..In October and November of 2012, we held sensitization workshops with teachers and students in several of the Challenge countries, including major publicity campaigns to encourage applications from school teams. The solutions to be proposed by the students will form the basis of the school’s entry to the Competition. Here are the key dates:
- Project concepts uploaded to the Challenge Website: February 16, 2013.
- Entries evaluated and judged online: February 17 to February 22, 2013
- National level judging in each participating Country: February 23 to March 23, 2013.
The winning school in each country will then move on to the regional competition in Barbados on April 12 & 13, 2013. Student representatives and teachers of the winning teams from each national competition will also participate in an all-expenses-paid STEM Ambassador Program in Florida during Summer 2013.Please visit the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge Website for more information and to access resources such as Challenge description, rules and application forms. A description of the challenge can also be found in thisSagicor Visionaries Challenge Description Video. An example of a sample project is given in this Challenge Sample Project Video. Also visit our Sagicor Visionaries Facebook page) and, if you have any questions, send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
An important part of the challenge involves mentoring for each team by one or more professionals assigned by the Caribbean Science Foundation. Mentoring will be done in person or remotely, and may include any or all of the following activities: providing feedback on ideas, answering questions related to ideas, reviewing competition materials, and sharing expertise & experiences.
Our experience in the workshops made it very clear that most Caribbean secondary school students do not personally know a scientist or an engineer, or the wide variety of job opportunities available to scientists and engineers. Hence, your interaction with at least one student will help to change the face of science and engineering in the region. Persons interested in serving as mentors should fill out the Sagicor Visionaries Mentor Application Form. Our CSF team will match students with mentors based on areas of expertise. We really need your help with this challenge, so please spread the word about the Challenge to your friends, and encourage student teams at your high school to participate.
A PDF of this summary describing the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge can accessed at Sagicor Visionaries Challenge