The Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) is an intensive four-week enrichment residential summer program for gifted Caribbean high-school students (at least age 16 but less than age 18 on July 1, 2013) who are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering. The goal is to help address the low numbers of Caribbean students pursuing advanced degrees in science and engineering. This program is one of CSF's initiatives with the long-term goal of helping to diversity the economies of the Region by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship within the Region.
SPISE is a learning environment in which students are trained to think logically and critically, and to develop analytical and logical problem-solving approaches in several disciplines. Rote learning is discouraged. Thus, while getting the correct answers to problems and questions are important, critical and logical thinking, robust methodology, and analytical problem-solving approaches are more highly valued in SPISE. The focus is on understanding the concepts and fundamental principles in each discipline, and on gaining enough mastery to apply these fundamentals to find solutions to complex problems that have not been encountered before.
SPISE, therefore, provides a risk-free learning environment in which students are encouraged to have no fear, insecurity or hesitation in asking questions. That is, there is no penalty for statements such as "I do not know" or "I do not understand", and there is no such thing as a stupid question. Since there is minimal competition between students, students naturally help each other to learn and understand the material, and are continually encouraged to do so.
Team work is another essential component of the SPISE experience, as all of the hands-on projects (robotics, electronics, entrepreneurship preparation, and computer programming) require students to work in groups, and to design and fabricate modules, components and systems for a final project that is showcased to the public at the end of the program. Students participate in two of the four project areas with the understanding that the project goal, and not individual egos, must take top priority.
Further, we teach efficient study habits and time-management skills, so that the students learn how to make the most efficient use of their time. We believe that such skills will be particularly useful for handling the heavy course and work load in university life and life in general. A video of the highlights of the 2012 SPISE can be viewed at the link below.
Video of the 2012 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering
The 2013 SPISE will run from July 20 to Aug 17, 2013.
Student application postmark deadline (e-mail): April 22, 2013
More details can be found in the summary below:
CSF-Student Program for Innovation Science and Engineering (SPISE)-2013 Program Summary
Students applying to the program will need to:
- Fill out the application form below and provide all the materials requested within it. Both a pdf file and a WORD file(for typing) are provided for your convenience.
- Provide the three requests for recommendations below to their: (a) School Principal or Guidance Counselor, (b) a current Math Teacher, and (c) a current Science Teacher.
SPISE 2013 Student Application Form.doc
SPISE Request for Recommendation - Guidance Counselor-Principal
SPISE Request for Recommendation - Math Teacher
SPISE Request for Recommendation - Science Teacher
The most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) along with our responses can also be viewed below.
FAQ About SPISE.pdf
The subjects we intend to offer in the 2013 SPISE are: Calculus I and II, Physics I and II, Biochemistry, Humanities (One Caribbean Concept) and Mandarin, in addition to hands-on projects in Under-Water Robotics, Electronics, Computer Programming and Entrepreneurship.
With reference to the above-listed subjects, we are also accepting applications for SPISE 2013 Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Instructors.
TA application forms are provided below in both RTF and PDF formats:
SPISE 2013 TA Application Form.pdf
SPISE 2013 TA Application Form.rtf
Applications for SPISE Instructors are provided in both RTF and PDF formats and can be found below:
SPISE 2013 Instructor Application Form.pdf
SPISE 2013 Instructor Application Form.rtf.
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.
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:
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
Over 120 students and teachers from Grenada, plus lecturers, scientists, entrepreneurs and government officials from the Caribbean Region and the Caribbean Diaspora gathered on 5, 6 October 2012 at the Grenada Grand Beach Hotel Conference Centre in St. George's, Grenada to discuss how science, engineering and innovation can be promoted to help diversify the Region's economies. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) in collaboration with the Caribbean Diaspora for Science Technology and Innovation (CADSTI) and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) organized the conference. The CSF was established in 2010 as a non-profit, non-governmental organization to assist with the diversification of the economies of the Region by promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) education reform, and stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship.
The workshop was opened by the Hon. Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada. Under the theme, "Stimulating Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Science and Engineering within the Caribbean," the workshop's main message was that science and technology based entrepreneurship is critical for the economic development of the Region, and . . . . . Read the full press release at the link below
Press Release-2012 CSF Workshop Conclusion 9OCT12.pdf
SPISE 2012 ran from August 6 to September 1, 2012 on the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies. The first video below was filmed and produced by Lillie Paquette and Andrei Ivanov of the MIT Sea Grant program. The second and third links showcase the two St. Lucian students who participated in SPISE 2012. The former is attributed to their sponsors, LUCELEC and Light & Power Holdings, and the latter to DBS Television.
Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering 2012
DBS TV SPISE 2012 report
Photos and News Links
SPISE 2012-Facebook Photos
SPISE student presentations - Basil Springer 9-2-12
Fun With Science- Nation News 9-2-12
Graduates can help economy- Advocate 9-2-12
SPISE a Hit- Advocate 9-2-12
STEM and the Caribbean Science Foundation - Stabroek News 8-27-12
Yavniel Yatali in TT Guardian 8-22-12
A Boost to the Sciences - Advocate 8-8-12
MIT-styled programme comes to the C'bean - Advocate 8-8-12
Please click the link below for a 2-page flyer that summarizes the activities of 2012 SPISE.
SPISE 2012 Activities Summary.pdf
The ten students in the inaugural 2012 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) have successfully completed a busy 4-week schedule comprising classes in calculus, physics, biochemistry, humanities (one Caribbean concept) and Mandarin, as well as laboratory project work in electronics and robotics. On the final afternoon of the program, in front of a packed and captivated audience, the students gave presentations on their projects in humanities, electronics and robotics that included demonstrations with metronomes clicking, numbers flashing, amplifiers playing music, and underwater robots navigating obstacles in a water tank. Dr. Basil Springer, in his Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust (CBET) column, referred to that afternoon as a 'magnificent, indeed awesome experience'.
The inaugural SPISE represents the first milestone in the Caribbean Science Foundation's mission to help diversify the economies of the Region by encouraging more students to pursue careers in science and engineering, and to consider becoming entrepreneurs. The Caribbean Science Foundation thanks the sponsors, whose support was absolutely critical for the 2012 SPISE, and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Barbados Campus, whose generous donation of the use of their facilities made the program possible. The goal for SPISE 2013 is to double the number of students (with new as well as returning sponsors) and to increase the number of subject offerings so students have more choices.
For a sampling of press releases on the 2012 SPISE, including photos of the students and their project demonstrations, please click on the following links:
Hailed for creativity -SPISE 2012-Barbados Today 31Aug12.pdf
Graduates Can Help Economy-SPISE a Hit - Barbados Advocate 2Sep12.pdf
The 2012 SPISE Student Project-Barbados Advocate 7Sep12.pdf
Ten students ranging in age from 15 to 17 and from 6 different countries (Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago) have arrived at the CSF, located on the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies, to participate in the inaugural Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE). The SPISE is an intensive summer program for Caribbean high-school students who are interested in pursuing careers in science or engineering. The first annual SPISE runs from August 6 to September 1, 2012. The SPISE is one of the STEM education reform initiatives of the Caribbean Science Foundation with the long-term goal of helping to diversify the economies of the Region by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship within the Region. Both UWI and CXC are partners in the program.
The full text of the press release can be found PRESS RELEASE-2012 SPISE Students Arrive.pdf
At the February 2012 Vancouver meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Prof. Cardinal Warde presented a history and status of CADSTI and CSF in a session titled "Coordinating, Learning and Sharing Best Practices Among Scientific Diaspora Networks". Other Scientific Diasporas represented included The Society for the Advancement of Science and Technology in the Arab World, and The Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists.
You can read the full AAAS meeting report at: Scientific Diasporas
On Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at the Savannah Beach Hotel, Hastings Christ Church, Barbados, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched the Caribbean Energy Innovation Contest IDEAS 2012. According to the IDB website, individuals, enterprises and organizations based in the Caribbean are invited to submit proposals focusing on adoption, innovation, assimilation, development and transfer of technologies in renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and fossil fuel substitution by April 30, 2012. Awards of up to US$200,000 are offered for projects and enterprises which promote energy efficiency and access to renewable energy in the Caribbean region. Applications should be submitted electronically - details and guidance are available at www.iadb.org/ideas. Grant winners will be announced July 15, 2012.
Founded in 1843 Macmillan - Caribbean is one of the largest publishing houses in the United Kingdom for the Caribbean and about the Caribbean. With resources such as free downloads for teachers, a major selection of science series for primary and secondary schools including interactive CD-ROMs, Macmillan has proven why over the past fifty years they have and continue to have a strong imprint on the Caribbean.
For more information visit MACMILLAN - CARIBBEAN
MassChallenge vision is to have a creative and inspired society who can define their future and is then able to be empowered to maximize their impact. The MassChallenge mission is to catalyze a start-up renaissance by helping entrepreneurs at an early stage to win by connecting them with the resources they need to launch immediately.
An annual global accelerator program and start-up competition, documenting and organizing key resources as well as organizing training and networking events are the MassChallenge's primary activities.
To read more about the MassChallenge and how you can apply, CLICK on the link below:
In the article entitled "Jamaican middle and upper classes don't have the entrepreneurial spirit - Ventura", Professor Arnoldo Ventura speaks of the entrepreneurial spirit in the lower class community and how the role of science and technology can foster the success of their ideas in a presentation at the Jamaica Stock Exchange's regional conference on investment and capital markets. To read the full article CLICK HERE
Promotes research collabrations between Canadian researchers and researchers of developing countries in 4 broad areas: agriculture and the environment, global health policy, science and innovation, social and economic policy.
Forge links at the individual and institutional level between scientists, technology entrepreneurs and marketplace to improve quality of life and economic prosperity.
A Japanese government program that promotes international joint research targeting global issues (environment/energy, bioresources, natural disaster prevention, infectious disease control), working through 3-5 year projects involving partnerships between researchers in Japan and researchers in developing countries.
"Google is looking for the brightest young scientist from around the world to submit, creative projects that are relevant to the world today."
This is an opportunity for young Caribbean scientists to be introduced to the scientific world. The next leading scientist can come from the Caribbean!
Spread the word to your local schools and colleges about this year's Google Science Fair 2012. For more information and how to enter the competition CLICK here.
Since the closing of Prof. Cardinal Warde's 36th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture on "Science Technology and Business Reform in the Caribbean" the government and society of Barbados have been responding to Prof. Cardinal Warde's views on the need for education reform within the island.
- In BGISMedia News in an article titled "Changes In Education System Already On Stream," Minister of Education Ronald Jones welcomed the sentiments of Prof. Warde on the need for change in the island's education system.
- The Barbados Advocate has produced three articles related to Prof. Cardinal Warde's Lecture:
• On December 1, 2011 an article titled "International Partnerships Important" dealt with the issue of business development in Barbados, in particular with respect to science and technology. This was in response to Prof. Warde's statements that international partners are necessary in the development of pharmaceuticals drugs in the Caribbean.
• In the 4th of December 2011 article "Straight to the Point: 11-plus removes class/colour bias" there was some expected push back where the author, Mr. John Blackman, said that "... A significant number of people calling for the abolition of the examination have failed to appreciate how it has leveled the playing field over the past 30 to 40 years."
• On the 5th of December 2011 in the article "Multifocal learning is key", Minister of Education Ronald Jones responds to the question posed by Prof. Cardinal Warde on the need for reform in the island's secondary entrance examination by stating "...the Ministry responsible for education will look towards pushing for a more holistic approach to learning for its students."
- The Nation News also carried articles on the lecture on November 23rd, 2011 titled "11-Plus reform a must" and a November 27th, 2011 titled "Curriculum shift 'a must': Prof sees this as best for Caribbean." According to to first article, Professor Warde stated, "What we need in this region is the will to change it [the 11-Plus]" and in the second article "...the 11-plus places limitations on slow learners, thwarting their desire to realize their true potential,"
Dr. Cardinal Warde, MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering, visits his Alma Mater, St. Christopher Primary, Barbados on November 24, 2011. To view pictures click on the link below.
See more photos in slide show here
After an exciting weekend of the first annual conference and workshop of CADSTI-CSF (November 18-19, 2011), on Monday November 21, 2011 at 8.00 pm, Prof. Cardinal Warde delivered the 36th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture (courtesy of the Central Bank of Barbados) on "Science Technology and Business Education Reform for the Caribbean" at the Frank Collymore Hall, Barbados. Prof. Warde's slide presentation can be accessed by clicking the link below.
CADSTI and CSF held their first annual Workshop on November 18-20, 2011 in Bridgetown, Barbados. The theme of the Workshop was "Mobilizing the Diaspora for Caribbean Development Through Science, Technology and Innovation". See the press release of the Workshop below:
Press Release of the 2011 CADSTI-CSF Workshop
The 2011 Workshop was a critical event in that it propelled the Caribbean Science Foundation into operation as the leading body for stimulating science and technology activities in the Region. The Workshop programme is reproduced at the link below:
Summaries of the scientific posters presented at the Workshop can be found in the link below:
Poster Abstracts 2011-CADSTI-CSF Workshop.pdf
Also, at the same time, the CSF headquarters in the CARICOM Research Building on the UWI Cave Hill Campus came alive with Ms. Samantha Sobers (Administrative Assistant) joining the management team and now running the day-to-day show. Lots of great ideas were developed at the workshop, and some are already being put into action (see CSF Press Release above). The energy and the passion for the cause was intense, and these are captured in some of the pictures below:
2011 CADSTI-CSF Workshop Photos-web.pdf
Research: News, Analysis, Funding & Data produced an article about the CSF Workshop titled "Science Foundation seeks funds to translate science and technology research" on the 14th of December 2011.
The first Caribbean Science Foundation Newsletter
Caribbean Science News Issue 01
has been published! Please take a look and circulate.
CSF Sets Sail - Physics Today June 2011.pdf
(Copyright Physics Today 6/2011)
CSF Launch Press Release (pdf) announces the founding of the Caribbean Science Foundation.