22 students graduate from SPISE Caribbean summer workshop

Scenes from this summer's SPISE workshop.

Scenes from this summer’s SPISE workshop.

By CSF Team

Twenty two students graduated successfully from the recently concluded summer workshop in the Caribbean, designed to broaden Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Annually, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) offers a four-week-long Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) to the most-gifted Caribbean students in STEM education.

The goal of SPISE is to groom the Caribbean’s next generation of technology entrepreneurs and leaders in science, engineering and business. This year, SPISE served 22 such students from 11 Caribbean countries: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago. All of the students successfully completed rigorous university-level courses in calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship, Caribbean unity and Mandarin, as well as hands-on projects in under-water robotics, renewable energy and electronics.

The students also participated in a career seminar series where they heard first-hand about the career paths, decisions and experiences of six eminent professionals in science and engineering from the Diaspora and the region, including Grenadian Nicholas Brathwaite, founding partner of Riverwood Capital. Instructors included faculty from the University of the West Indies and senior management from the U.S. biotechnology industry. SPISE, which is led by Professor Cardinal Warde of MIT, is modeled after the well-known and highly successful MITES program at MIT (web.mit.edu/mites) for which Prof. Warde has served as the faculty director for over 15 years. All SPISE students participated free of charge, due to generous donations from numerous corporate and individual sponsors.

The governing committee of the Caribbean Research Foundation.

The governing committee of the Caribbean Science Foundation.

The SPISE workshop culminated with the students presenting their final projects in robotics, renewable energy, entrepreneurship and Mandarin to the public on August 15th. The audience included U.S. Ambassador for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Dr. Larry Palmer;  Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados Dr. DeLisle Worrell; Managing Director of Light and Power Holdings Mr. Peter Williams; Barbados Minister of Labor Social Security & Human Resource Development Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo;  Barbados Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Hon. Ronald Jones, Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr. Rikhi Permanand;, Mr. Collin Cunningham and Ms. Klao Bell-Lewis of the Caribbean Development Bank, Ms. Petal Jetoo from the Guyana Ministry of Education, Ms. Jacqui Cuke of Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, and several parents and business professionals.

In the robotics demonstrations, the students designed and built underwater robots from kits donated by the MIT Sea Grant program for the task of retrieving floating balls and sunken objects, and placing them into a basket. This was a true test of their ingenuity, and innovative engineering and design skills! The renewable energy demonstrations featured a vertical-axis wind turbine, a solar-powered cell-phone charger, a solar-powered boat, and a circuit that converts stored power in a battery (direct current output) to house-hold alternating-current.

For entrepreneurship, teams of students pitched their business plans, and then fielded tough questions from the audience. The students also performed three skits in Mandarin that brought much laughter and applause from the audience. The SPISE students, who on average had 5 hours of homework each night, commented on how much new and difficult material they had learned, and how their confidence was boosted for competing at universities with other students in their age group from any part of the world.

The CSF is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in Barbados and representatives in several other Caribbean countries. Key partners in the SPISE are the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and Sagicor. Please visit http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/spise.php for more information about the SPISE, or contact Prof. Cardinal Warde at warde.csf@gmail.com or 1-617-699-1281. Donations to the CSF can be made at http://caribbeanscience.org/donation.-OnPointPress.net-

Annual Caribbean summer STEM program underway in Barbados

Students hard at work with their projects at SPISE.

Students hard at work with their projects during the summer SPISE intensive in Barbados.

Bridgetown, Barbados, July 27: Twenty one students have been participating in the annual month-long STEM summer intensive effective July 19 at the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The annual Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) is one of the flagship initiatives of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) whose mission is to help harness science and technology for the diversification of the economies of the Caribbean.

Dr Maya Trotz of the Caribbean Science Foundation addresses students.

Dr Maya Trotz of the Caribbean Science Foundation addresses students.

This year the students will demonstrate their hands-on projects, and present their business plans and Mandarin skits at the conclusion of the program in a public forum on August 15. Another key feature of the SPISE is that post-SPISE graduates are assisted by the CSF with their university applications, and have the opportunity to participate in research internships organized by the CSF and Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI).

Students demonstrating their craft.

Students demonstrating their talents.

SPISE is an intensive four-week enrichment residential summer program for Caribbean high-school students who are gifted in STEM, not less than 16 and not more than 18 years of age on July 1, and who are interested in studying and exploring careers in these and related fields. SPISE graduates have been admitted to such prestigious universities as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Duke and University of the West Indies (UWI). The CSF believes that one or more of these STEM superstars could create the “next Google” in the Caribbean or become the Region’s first Nobel laureate in science.

The governing committee of the Caribbean Research Foundation.

The governing committee of the Caribbean Research Foundation.

SPISE 2014 runs from July 19 to August 16 on the UWI-Barbados campus with 21 students from 11 countries (Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago). The cost of sponsorship is US$6,000 per student plus airfare. All students attend free of charge thanks to generous donations from the 2014 sponsors.

Students from Jamaica participate in the debate team at the Caribbean Science Foundation.

Students from Jamaica participate in the debate team at the Caribbean Science Foundation.

Key partners in the SPISE are UWI-Barbados, the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and CADSTI. SPISE is modeled after the well-known and highly successful MITES program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (web.mit.edu/mites), and includes university-level courses in calculus, physics, biochemistry and entrepreneurship taught by eminent academic and industry scientists and engineers from the Caribbean and the U.S.

The CSF is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in Barbados and representatives in several other Caribbean countries. Please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75UUowD7-oM to view a video which captures the real spirit of SPISE. visit http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/spise.php for more information about the SPISE, or contact Prof. Cardinal Warde at warde.csf@gmail.com or 1-617-699-1281. Donations to the CSF can be made at http://caribbeanscience.org/donation.-OnPointPress.net.

Caribbean Tourism Week runs from June 1-7 in New York City

dunns river
Jamaica’s famous Dunn’s River Falls is a must see for every tourist to the island paradise.

New York: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is hosting another Caribbean Week in New York from June 1 -7, 2014. Caribbean Week showcases the sights, sounds, colors, culture and unique vacation experiences of the Caribbean. Caribbean Week will show New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple why the region is a desirable, year-round warm weather destination. The week will feature free and ticketed events such as the Celebrity Chefs Program, which will feature Caribbean chefs

cto
The Caribbean Tourism Team proudly showcase the region and its attractions.

 

preparing authentic Caribbean dishes at demonstrations, tastings and cooking classes at culinary venues throughout the week. There will also be free events at the Williams-Sonoma, Columbus Circle and Bloomingdales @ 59th St. and White Plains. Tickets priced from $25 to $135 per person are available for culinary classes and lessons at Haven’s Kitchen, 109 West 17th Street; the Whole Foods Culinary Center, Bowery; Brooklyn Kitchen-Manhattan, 600 11th Avenue; and Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn.

Assortment of delectable Caribbean dishes
Assortment of delectable Caribbean dishes.

On June 2, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Hilton Times Square in the Empire Foyer will host the Caribbean Diaspora Forum with a free registration. This year’s forum will explore the business of Diaspora Voluntourism and how the Caribbean Diaspora can participate. Speakers are: Heidi Clarke, director of programs at the Sandals Foundation; Captain Jagmohan Singh, acting chief executive officer of Caribbean Airlines and  Wilson Jean Baptiste, chief executive officer of Gems in St. Lucia.

st lucia festival
St Lucia’s Festivals usually attract large groups of fun-loving tourists to revel in the music and  enjoy the creative costumes.

On June 3, a Student Colloquium with free registration, will also take place at the Hilton Times Square and is created by CTO interns to involve youth in Caribbean Week New York. The program challenges students studying at the tertiary level to research and present practical sustainable tourism projects that if implemented, could provide a sustainable source of income for Caribbean nationals. Final teams present their projects and compete to win the 2014 Student Colloquium Championship. Finalist students from colleges in the Bahamas, Jamaica and the U.S. Virgin Islands will attempt to claim the title from Monroe College in the Bronx, the reigning champions.

rihanna
Barbadian beauty, pop princess and down to earth entertainer Rihanna on a beach in her homeland.

On June 4, at the Venue 404, located at 404 Tenth Avenue, between 5:00 -8:00 p.m. Caribbean Romance Pavilion with free pre-registration for a $30 value is great for
engaged couples seeking a romantic and idyllic setting to get married and honeymoon, and married couples still deciding on that honeymoon getaway, destinations and resorts demonstrate why the Caribbean is the number one resort destination for weddings and honeymoons.

ja
Jamaica is a popular honeymoon locale for couples around the world, who flock to enjoy the azure sea and the miles of white sand.

On June 6, 2014, 6:30pm-10:30pm, Tribeca 360, 10 Desbrosses Street the Rum and Rhythm™ Benefit with tickets costing $100 per person. The event is a fundraiser to benefit the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Foundation. This signature event shows off the vibrant cultures, eclectic cuisines, pulsating rhythms and quintessential experiences to be enjoyed in the Caribbean. Guests will sample award winning rums, authentic cuisine prepared by Caribbean celebrity chefs and featured cocktails by popular mixologists, while enjoying the rhythms of Caribbean music. A selection of items will be available at Auction. For more information Contact:  Roberta Garzaroli or Mary Brennan at cwny@atreborgroup.com, Tel: 212-764-0340–OnPointPress.net.