Benefits of Attending SPISE
- Build self-confidence in general and specifically in the STEM disciplines
- Learn how to assimilate the fundamentals (vs rote learning), think critically and develop analytical and logical problem-solving approaches in various disciplines
- Participate in a hands-on engineering project as part of a team
- Learn the value of teamwork and to be a team player
- Learn the essentials of making a business plan, and how to pitch it to investors
- Improve study habits and time management skills
- Get a taste of the pace and pressure of university life and become better prepared for it
- Meet experts in various science and engineering fields who can act as role models and give career guidance
- Learn about STEM-based career options that you may have never considered before
- Become eligible for STEM internships in the Region, U.S. and Canada
- Receive help with the U.S. university application process and financial aid strategies
- Learn how to write a CV that is an effective and compelling representation of you
- Acquire new friends, increase your social network across the Caribbean, and create networking opportunities that may be beneficial in the future
- Learn more about neighboring islands through fellow participants
- Gain the experience of living away from home and being responsible for self
We often say to our SPISE students: “continue to seize those STEM opportunities that place you just outside your comfort zone, and you will find your path to success.” Students who complete the SPISE attend some of the best science and engineering universities in the world. SPISE students are now attending top universities such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Florida Institute of Technology, Univ. North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Macalister College,Trent University, Univ. College London, St. Mary’s University, and UWI.
We track the SPISE students into university and beyond, and we continually encourage them to stay immersed in stimulating, creative, innovative and entrepreneurial STEM research environments.
What students and parents have to say about SPISE
SPISE 2014 graduate:
“Overall, the SPISE Program was truly one of the best experiences of my life. Not only was it a fantastic educational opportunity, but it was also an experience that granted me with a chance to learn a bit more about myself and what I could achieve. The program pushed me to my limit and as a result, I was able to emerge with a greater confidence in ability to approach new problems and situations.”
SPISE 2013 graduate:
“An amazing opportunity where I could acquire such valuable knowledge …SPISE has caused me to grow, not only in academics, but as individual. … I count the opportunity as a blessing and hope that other students will get the chance to experience SPISE.”
SPISE 2012 graduate:
“I can attribute the present direction of my life to the CSF…’
‘I genuinely believe that my experience there contributed greatly … and certainly raised my academics.”
SPISE 2013 graduate:
“Attending SPISE has tremendously impacted my life and although almost two years have passed, my experience is still etched in my mind as though it occurred yesterday.”
SPISE 2013 graduate:
“SPISE has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I hope it will also be a wakeup call for the other students in this program.”
SPISE 2013 graduate:
“I have been selected for the 2014 Island Scholar Award …I must say that attending SPISE really contributed to my achievement”
Parent of SPISE 2014 graduate:
“What the SPISE family, and it is a family, is doing for our young people personally and academically in the pursuit of excellence is unparalleled.”
Parent of SPISE 2015 graduate:
“I am proud that he faced the challenge head on- he conquered some fears as well. This is truly an awesome program.”
Parent of SPISE 2012 graduate:
“Thank you again for your nurturing. You will never know how those few weeks that summer served to make a talented boy, a focused young man.”
Ms. Obe Joseph, the SPISE 2013 US-Embassy-for-Barbados-and-the-Eastern-Caribbean Scholar, was requested by her former high school, Convent High School, to write an approximately 1500 word piece on her experiences at SPISE 2013. Here it is:
My SPISE Experience – by Obe Joseph
Student Selection Process
- Applications are first triaged for noncompliance with the eligibility criteria stated above in this SPISE Program Description (age, citizenship, missing application items such as letters of recommendation, essays, etc).
- Applications meeting the eligibility criteria are then sent off to reviewers (about 30 in total) residing in the Caribbean Region and the Diaspora. These individuals are typically university professors and lecturers, and business professionals.
- Reviewers are briefed by the CSF Director or the CSF Assistant Director and given written guidelines as to the characteristics that the CSF is looking for in the ideal SPISE student. Reviewers are asked to rank the candidates on a scale of 1 to 4 using the guidelines and the criteria in the SPISE Program Description above.
- Reviewers are not allowed to review applications from students in their country, or students who they know, or students whose parents they know. In short, we do not allow parents, schools or even sponsors to be involved in choosing SPISE students for admission to the program.
- Using the above criteria as a guide, the reviewers are divided into subcommittees of about 3-6 persons each, with each subcommittee reading the same set of applications. That is, each student is scored by at least 3 different reviewers.
- Each subcommittee is asked to collaborate and recommend a roughly 50/50 mix of boys and girls and to arrive at a consensus of their top 4 candidates.
- Using the list of top-ranked students provided by the subcommittees, students are then matched with sponsors from their country, and admitted to the SPISE. Each admitted student is branded as the scholar of his/her sponsor.
- Students recommended for admission who do not yet have sponsors are wait-listed pending sponsorship.
- If there are too many sponsors from a particular country, the CSF will request that a sponsor(s) consider supporting a student from a different country.
- The exact size of the final SPISE class depends on how many sponsors commit to support before the SPISE starts.