Hundreds attend national science, technology and wellness fair

Montego Bay Community College student, Britney Reid, being assisted by her teacher, Winston Fletcher, in setting up their winning project for the tertiary category at this year’s Scientific Research Council’s Science, Technology and Wellness Fair, held at the Chinese Benevolent Association, in Kingston, last week (Photo: JIS)

HUNDREDS of students from schools across Jamaica converged on the Chinese Benevolent Association in Kingston last Friday, to participate in the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) Science, Technology and Wellness Fair 2017.

Held under the theme ‘Youth-centred Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development’, the fair attracted students from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the island..

Executive director at the SRC Dr Cliff Riley, speaking at the closing ceremony, said the fair “indicated that the creativity and innovative capacity of our country is in good hands”.

He said that he was encouraged by some of the many solutions presented by the students to address very current issues, such as waste disposal and potable water shortage.

The event featured a competition between schools in the categories of education, agriculture, food and agro-processing, energy, ICT and electronics (with special focus on cybersecurity), health and safety, and sports/athletics.

The primary competition saw Seaview Gardens walking away with first place for their Emergency Respirator.

Representative from the team, Aaron Mark Matthews, t old JIS News that the idea was inspired from the smoke hazard of the Riverton dump a few years ago that affected the school and caused students to faint.

“We came up with this idea to develop a mask that would block out all the impurities,” he said.

John Rollins Success Primary took second place for their WindSol wind energy entry; and Half-Way-Tree Primary got third place for their organic pesticides made from pimento and tomato extract.

For the secondary category, Vere Technical won first place for their project, ‘Creating Water from Green Energy’, which utilises wind to generate energy. It is then used to produce water for irrigation or domestic purposes.

Another part of their winning entry was a wireless, electricity-transmitting illusion mirror, which is a table that transmits electrical current wirelessly.

Additionally, they won the special award for best use of green technology and best application of physics.

Rusea’s High got second place for their organic mosquito repellant made from dried breadfruit and orange peel, and won special awards for most potential for commercialisation, and best application of chemistry.

The Mannings School was awarded third place for their ‘biofoam’, which is replacing styrofoam with organic materials, and also won a special award for best documented science investigation.

Montego Bay Community College, which was the sole entry in the tertiary category, won for their ‘Energy Money Saver’, which uses a digital logic circuit, incorporating the use of a motion detector, to turn on and off electrical-powered items, such as fans and lights.

The community college also received the special award for most innovative display.

Team member, Britney Reid, explained that the inspiration behind the project was the high cost of the school’s electricity bill.

She told JIS News that the team would love to get sponsors to assist in implementing this project at their school.

Additionally, the team indicated that they have contacted National Energy Solutions, which has expressed interest in the project.

Other winners of special awards were Knockalva Technical High for best use of indigenous materials; Holland High for the best use of environmental science, and José Martí Technical High for the best application of biology.

There was also an addition to this year’s offering, which allowed attendees access to free health screenings, including blood sugar, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure and cholesterol tests.

Honorary life president of the Diabetes Association Professor Errol Morrison, who spoke at the fair, highlighted how important these checks are, with the recent occurrences of heart illnesses in some student athletes.

There was also a Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination workshop, which was fully attended.

The annual science fair serves as a platform to showcase the best research by students at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Approximately 30 schools entered this year’s competition.

The event was staged in collaboration with Petrojam Ltd; Diabetes Association of Jamaica; Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica; Development Bank of Jamaica; Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; Sandals Resort; Jamaica Observer; Coldax Mart Jamaica Limited; Collins Publishing; and CorpsBiz Strategies.

Jamaica Observer


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