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SAGICOR winners have eye-opening experience in Tampa

SAGICOR winners have eye-opening experience in Tampa

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Two Vincentians were, this past summer, part of an eye-opening experience, thanks to the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge.{{more}}

Physics teacher Lenski Adams and Girls’ High School student Raeisa Byron-Cox cashed in on their prize trip, after having won the national leg of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge with their project “Paper Bricks”.

The pair travelled to Tampa, Florida, in July for an all expenses paid tour of places that incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), including the Museum of Science and Industry, the University of South Florida, the Kennedy Space Centre, Disney World’s Epcot Theme Park and Crystal Springs.

Adams told SEARCHLIGHT that visiting the Kennedy Space Centre was the most memorable experience for him, because it has always been his childhood dream to see a space shuttle and its launch pads.

“I think that’s the main reason why I entered the competition, because I wanted to actually go there,” the physics teacher said.

“We actually got first- hand scenery of everything and we also got to go on fun rides”.

Like Adams, Byron-Cox also enjoyed visiting the Kennedy Space Centre, but pointed out that she had an equal amount of fun at Disney World’s Epcot Theme Park.

“Epcot was fun…just the experience, getting to see behind the scenes Disney basically and Kennedy Space Centre because of…the flight simulator and I never really understood how rockets and space shuttles and those things work, so going there was eye opener,” she said.

Byron-Cox, a fifth form student told SEARCHLIGHT that before her trip, although she did not think science was boring, she found most of her other subjects more interesting.

By visiting the places that incorporate STEM, the fifth former stated that she now sees “science in a different way, as opposed to just teaching”.

A fun and educational trip, however, is not the only thing that Adams and Byron-Cox have gained from being a part of the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge.

In fact, the physics teacher revealed that he would like to be a part of the challenge again, because of its thrust towards raising the bar in the science department.

He also noted that because of his experience, he feels that he can be a better science teacher.

“I would like to participate in it every year. It helps boost the morale of science in terms of it’s not the general volcano experiment that you see at a science fair. It’s looking for new sorts of experiments,” Adams said.

“The experience, it was eye opening in terms of helping me to see different ways in which I could approach the teaching of science…not just giving notes, not just speaking, but have more interaction and carrying out more experiments”.

Although she will not be able to compete in the next challenge, Byron-Cox would like to encourage students not to be daunted by science.

“It’s not as hard as it seems and it’s not as literal as it seems,” she said.

“It’s not one thing. It can be anything. Just your imagination alone could propel you to be a good scientist”.

The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, which took place nationally on March 26, 2013, was geared toward enabling students to contribute to the establishment of sustainable Caribbean communities, through the integration and application of STEM.

“Paper Bricks” was a project that was designed to make use of recycled paper as an alternative energy source to coal and charcoal and other fossil fuels.(BK)

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