For Release Upon Receipt - August 3, 2012
On February 25, 2012, the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) announced the launch of the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE). The SPISE is an intensive summer program for Caribbean high-school students who are interested in pursuing careers in science or engineering. The first annual SPISE will run from August 6 to September 1, 2012 on the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies. Caribbean high school students who are not less than 15 and not more than 17 years of age on August 1 were eligible for the program. Ten students from 6 different countries (Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago) have been selected to participate in the inaugural SPISE.
The SPISE is modeled after the well-known and highly successful MITES program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (web.mit.edu/mites), and includes courses in calculus, physics and biochemistry taught by eminent academic and industry scientists and engineers from the Caribbean and the U.S. Students in the 2012 SPISE will participate in hands-on projects as they work in teams to design, build and test systems in the areas of robotics and electronics. A highlight of the 2012 SPISE is the opportunity for students to assemble and operate underwater robots, a generous gift from the Sea Grant Program of MIT, through the assistance of Mr. Tim Downes. In addition, the SPISE will include a brief introduction to Mandarin, and a humanities course covering: (a) the “one-Caribbean” concept, and (b) ethics in science and engineering. Students will demonstrate their hands-on projects at the conclusion of the program in a forum that will be open to the public.
All students participate free of charge, due to generous donations from sponsors, including Scotiabank, Williams Industries (Barbados), Light and Power Holdings, St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC), MIT Sea Grant Program, the Neal & Massy Foundation, Central Bank of Barbados, Caribbean Development Bank, Belize Telemedia Limited, National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, BG Energy Holdings Limited, and Mr. Nicholas Braithwaite's PETNA Foundation. The cost is approximately US$6,000 per student, and students are branded with the name of their sponsors. Over the next 5 years, the goal is to grow the program so it serves up to 50 students annually. For more information about sponsoring students, please contact Prof. Cardinal Warde (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-617-699-1281).
The SPISE is one of the CSF’s education reform initiatives with the long-term goal of helping to diversify the economies of the Region by stimulating more technology-based entrepreneurship within the Region. It is anticipated that students who complete the SPISE will eventually attend some of the best science and engineering universities in the world, and become scientific, engineering and business leaders in academia and industry within the Caribbean. For more information, please visit http://caribbeanscience.org.
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