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Top innovators rewarded in NTRC I2 competition

Top innovators rewarded in NTRC I2 competition

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A zip line to the volcano, booking Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) services online, a mobile application that alerts the fire department and one that helps find a taxi.{{more}}

Those are the top picks in this year’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission’s (NTRC) Ideas and Innovation Competition/I2 Competition.

The finals of the competition were held on January 14 at the National Insurance Services (NIS) conference room at Upper Bay Street and saw 19 groups from the various secondary and tertiary institutions throughout the country competing for monetary prizes and trophies.

Coming in first in the secondary schools idea category were Nyron Collis and Aubert Lampkin of the Petit Bordel Secondary School. Both students are from Chateaubelair. Mentored by their teacher Stanley Joslyn, the boys, going by the name ‘PBSS Inventors’, presented a miniature prototype of a zip line that takes persons from the base to the top of La Soufriere volcano and back, while also making stops for photo opportunities.

The boys described the zip line as “an easy and better way” to reach La Soufriere volcano, while taking up less time and earning money for the Government.

“We live in Chateaubelair and we hear the issues and the cry of the people and we decided we would provide and easier way to go to the volcano,” said Collis, adding, “I feel real amazing because we put in a lot of work into this. We worked from day one. Since we were knocked out of the competition last year, we worked from there until we reached here. We worked very hard, tireless hard.”

Second in the secondary schools idea category was the ‘UISS Innovators’ from the Union Island Secondary School, while the Girls’ High School’s (GHS) ‘Tech Savvy’ was third. The other groups in this category were the Union Island Secondary School’s ‘UISS Geo’ and the GHS’s ‘E sharp’.

In the secondary schools mobile application category, coming in first was the group ‘Inovatori’ from the GHS. Inovatori, made up of Rene Gurley, Breanna Marksman, Betricia Stowe, Aliya John and Delena Forde presented a mobile application geared towards helping persons find a taxi.

“Our app is supposed to benefit tourists and also Vincentians. It’s a taxi tracker and you can see the location of taxis and if they are authorized or unauthorized, so tourists will not get into unauthorized taxis and it provides a safer way of travel for tourists,” said John.

“We are very excited, because we worked really hard and we were looking forward to the finals and actually going up in front everybody and presenting and we are comfortable with how we presented and we think we presented well,” John added.

Coming in second in this category was ‘Northern Lights’ of the Mountain View Adventist Academy, while the third place spot went to NWI of the St Vincent Grammar School. The other groups were the SVGS’s ‘The Futurists’ and the GHS’s ‘Wiz 5’.

First in the tertiary level mobile application category were Esrica Pitt, Roslyn Browne, Sakile Thomas, Cheyenne Lewis and Cassique Lowman, the group of students calling themselves, The Innovative 5, from the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College’s (SVGCC) Division of Arts, Science and General Studies.

Their mobile application, dubbed Swift Emergency Alert (SEA), was developed to benefit the fire department by improving how reports are sent to the fire department in the event of a fire.

Explaining that app, Lowman said that SEA is a fire alert system, which allows mobile users to transfer their location, using Google mapping technology, to the fire department in the case of a fire. He said that at the moment, the fire department does not have a dedicated system, so they are looking to change that. He noted also that at times persons may not be able to give accurate directions as it relates to their location, so the app does all this, making it easier for the firemen to find the location of the fire.

Another group member, Browne, commented, “We noticed that there are a lot of fires around and I believe our app is going to benefit St Vincent and the Grenadines very much. We want to thank the NTRC for such an opportunity, because we, as IT students, this motivates us to go out there and put our best foot forward. This was a very good experience and I feel very overwhelmed; it’s just a great experience.”

This is the group’s first entry in the competition.

Coming in second in this category was Tech Wizz of the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education, while third place went to K-STK of the SVGCC Division of Nursing Education. The other groups in this category were the SVGCC Division of Arts Science and General Studies – Modern Day Einstein and the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education’s Tech Print.

Winning in the tertiary level ideas category was New Millennium, made up of Akili Robertson and Mikhailla Matthias.

Their idea is a patient portal that will help persons who want to use the services of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) book these services online.

“The patient portal is an idea where we want to increase the efficiency of the system at the hospital. When you have to get a service done, you have to go there, so we want to improve that so the patient will be allowed to schedule the appointment online, see the prices of services and there is also a pre-admission guide into surgery, where you have instructions as to what to do and what not to do,” said Robertson.

She added, “We are happy because the last time we competed, we placed third; we had some difficulties, they treated us unfairly because their computer stuck on us and we did not get extra time, so we came back and we came better and we won.”

Second in this category was Tech World of the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education (DTVE), while third place went to ICT Wizz, also of the SVGCC DTVE.

The other competitor in this category was the SVGCC Division of Arts, Science and General Studies group called Source Code. A fifth group dropped out.

Prizes were also given to the schools with the most entries in the competition. They are the St Vincent Grammar School, the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education and the SVGCC Division of Arts, Science and General Studies. The various mentors were also recognized.

Supporters of the competition included the Ministry of Education, National Insurance Services (NIS), the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED), the Searchlight Newspaper, Toastmasters Organization, Hot 97.1, St Vincent and the Grenadines Broadcasting Corporation (SVGBC), IK TV, Fanfare events, King Computer Corporation, National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and ITFX Solutions.

The competition will celebrate its fourth year this year, 2016. It was coordinated by the NTRC’s Keisha Gurley.

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