Macmillan Education Caribbean has announced the winners of the highly anticipated Young Caribbean Environmental Scientist of the Year Competition for 2022-2023 with the Soufrière Comprehensive Secondary School in Saint Lucia emerging as the second place winner behind the Five Rivers Secondary School in Trinidad and ahead of the Mannings School in Jamaica.
The Young Caribbean Environmental Scientist of the Year Competition – launched as a spinoff from Macmillan Education Caribbean’s 2022 ‘Summer of Science’ campaign – is designed to champion the significance of science and environmental stewardship among Caribbean youth.
This competition encourages young learners throughout the islands to take proactive measures against climate change, aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Climate Action (Goal 13).
The competition challenged participants to develop innovative projects within their communities, schools, or general local areas to combat climate change and its far-reaching effects.
Students were empowered to address various aspects of climate-related challenges, from pollution reduction to sustainable fashion solutions.
Participating students honed essential skills such as research and analysis, problem-solving, and teamwork, while tackling real-world issues that impact communities worldwide.
The prizes for the victorious Soufrière Comprehensive Secondary School include Macmillan Education Caribbean’s acclaimed science textbooks, STEM Builders activity boxes, and an exclusive hands-on science session with esteemed Caribbean scientist Dr. Claire Durant.
The competition was expertly judged by renowned figures in the science, including Dr. Claire Durant, Debbie Roberts, and Kavelle Hylton.
Dr. Claire Durant, a distinguished scientist with a doctorate from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, expressed her enthusiasm for the competition, stating, ” The young scientists of St. Lucia have the ability to contribute to climate adaptation in their island home to mitigate future effects of climate change.”
She said the competition stands as an opportunity for students to learn many enquiry-based learning skills that become life skills, adding, “This is a real and rare experience for students to engage with the scientific procedure to address a topical and real-world problem, just like all scientists from the past, the present, and the future.”
Soufrière Comprehensive Secondary School’s win includes an exciting opportunity for students, having received a hands-on session with Dr. Durant on Friday, September 22, 2023, at their school, coordinated by Teacher Mr. Sedran Theodille.
During the interactive student lecture, Dr. Durant delved into the critical topic of climate change in the Caribbean, incorporating engaging experiments.
The session shed light on the vulnerability of Saint Lucia and other Small Island Development States to climate change, emphasizing the impacts of hurricanes, sea-level rise, drought, and heatwaves.
Students had the opportunity to explore the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), calculate their personal carbon footprint, create models of greenhouse gases, and gain insights into the dynamics of the sun’s radiation and atmospheric pressure systems.
As Macmillan Education Caribbean remains committed to fostering education and innovation in the Caribbean, the competition serves as a testament to the potential of young Caribbean scientists in contributing to climate adaptation and mitigating the future effects of climate change in their island homes.
SOURCE: Macmillan Education Caribbean. Headline photo: Dr. Claire Durant (left) and Ms. Symphorosa Bailey Education Consultant at Macmillan Education Caribbean in Saint Lucia (right) with the award winning minds of the Soufrière Comprehensive Secondary Schoo