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Horace Clarke High and Bull Bay All-Age win SRC science competition honours

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Two rural schools took the top spots in the Scientific Research Council's (SRC) Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean (INVOCAB) Science and Technology Innovation Competition.

Horace Clarke High in St Mary won in the secondary category, while Bull Bay All-Age in St Thomas was victorious in the primary school segment of the contest held over the summer.

At the awards ceremony held on September 20 at Bull Bay All-Age, the school was presented with the SRC trophy and a tablet from CHEETAH Toys and More, LLC.

Principal Justin Duncan credited the victory to the hard work and determination of the students and staff.

He told JIS News that the team spent long hours perfecting the solar water-heating device that won them the competition.

“We did it as a team. Myself, the teachers and the students, we came up with the idea. I designed it and we walked through the steps to make the project work. It was not easy, but the students were committed to the task,” he said.

The rudimentary heater is made up of nine transparent bottles encased in a wooden panel. The bottom of the panel is lined with foil and there is a glass covering at the top to absorb heat from the sun. The bottles are filled with water from a large black receptacle. The heated water is then stored in an insulated igloo.

Duncan is grateful that his school got the opportunity to participate in the competition, noting that what they have learnt “will certainly help the students in their examinations”. He added that the subject of science is important, because of its presence in everyday life.

Meanwhile, Horace Clarke High School, which was presented with the SRC trophy on September 18, won for their design of a wastewater and solid-waste management system.

“It's an agronomic hybrid system used to address solid-waste management,” explained Principal Christopher Walker.

“It also harvests rainwater. The device also helps in the making of fertilisers and methane gas,” he added.

Walker told JIS News that winning the competition has served as a motivation for the students and teachers.

“It gives us something to brag about. We were struggling with the sciences, but we have seen some improvements in the teaching methodologies and the students' performance,” he said.

Junior Expert for the INVOCAB Project, SRC, Yanique Wallace, told JIS News that the annual competition targets low-performing schools in the sciences in the Grade Six Achievement Test and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams.

The objective is to engender innovation in science among students.

“We are trying to get these schools in line with schools like Ardenne High School, Campion College and Holmwood Technical High School,” she pointed out.

“We want to take those schools and give them that attention they need to succeed. The idea behind INVOCAB is to improve innovation capacity and encourage teachers to encourage the students to become innovative citizens,” she added.

INVOCAB, which was launched in 2014, aims to contribute towards improving innovation in the Caribbean by building and strengthening capacities in the areas of science, technology and innovation as an enabler of poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development of countries in the region.

Other participating schools were Whitfield All-Age and Seaward Primary and Junior High in Kingston; Yallahs High School in St Thomas; Windsor Castle All-Age in Portland; Carron Hall High in St Mary; and Greater Portmore High in St Catherine.