Career & Education

SPISE reaches 100

Sunday, July 23, 2017

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), a non-profit organisation promoting science and technology in the Caribbean, has announced reaching the 100th student milestone for its prestigious Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE).

Twenty-four students began the sixth annual SPISE programme last Saturday, July 15, taking the total number who have participated since the inaugural class of 10 in 2012 to 109.

Over that period, 19 Jamaican students have participated, the largest number from any single country, according to interim executive director of the CSF Dr Cardinal Warde. Also according to Warde, this year's cohort, which represents 13 Caribbean countries and includes four Jamaicans, is the largest class ever.

Warde is also professor of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

“Admitting our 100th SPISE student represents a significant milestone for SPISE and the CSF towards grooming the next generation of Caribbean science and engineering leaders,” remarked chief scientific officer of Voyager Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and director of SPISE Dr Dinah Sah. “We take great pride in the accomplishment, as there have been many challenges that we have had to overcome to launch and sustain SPISE over the past six years. We are extremely grateful to our sponsors and supporters without whom this would not have been possible.”

Regional students ages 16-18 will participate in the annual four-week residential summer programme on the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus.

During the four-week period, students will study university level subjects including the computer programming language Python, calculus (Levels I and II), physics (Levels I and II), biochemistry, entrepreneurship, underwater robotics, electronics/renewable energy and Caribbean unity. At the end of the period, students will be given the opportunity to showcase their newly-developed skills through public displays of computer programs, business plan pitches, underwater robotics, and wind energy generation.

“The CSF has created the SPISE syllabus to develop the minds of these future leaders of the Caribbean where creativity, innovation, teamwork and excellence are the standard,” the organisation said in statement.

During the programme, students are afforded opportunities to network with world-renowned professionals from the scientific, technological, medical and humanitarian domains. Once they graduate, they are eligible for internship positions in the Caribbean, Canada and the USA, which gives them the opportunity to work in business settings and garner real-world research experience in science and engineering.

More information about SPISE can be found at http://caribbeanscience.org/projects/spise.php.

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