I have had the pleasure of visiting the Science, Mathematics and Technology Fair which was recently hosted by the Georgetown Department of Education and held at Queen’s College (QC), under the Mission Statement of ‘Providing Solutions for the 21st Century.’ The QC Principal, Ms Benn, was kind enough to allow the exuberant Biology and Environmental Science teacher, Mr Elroy VanKannie to accompany me through the exhibition.
One could not help but be impressed by the students from several secondary schools in the Georgetown area. Their lucidity of argument, boldness of presentation and self-confidence were indeed admirable; and also spoke volumes about their teachers who guided them in their projects, which dealt with a wide palette of current problems in need of solutions. These included initiatives associated with water purification systems, addressing climate change, combating pollution, organic replacement for chemical fertilizers, recycling, flood reduction methodologies, land reclamation techniques, multiplicity and versatility of usages of our indigenous plants and materials, etc.
I was particularly fascinated (perhaps for obvious reasons related to the transmission of electoral results) by the use of electronic procedures to evaluate students’ test scripts; unfortunately, one can only use this method in grading answers of multiple choice questions. A special mention must be made about the ‘Green Vehicles Revolution,’ the concept of which may not new, but which was thought-provoking, not only because of the possibility of usage in Guyana, but because of the creativity and enthusiasm exuding from students Elliot and Faria.
Actually, the only shortcoming was that corporate Guyana did not find it necessary to expose itself to interesting ideas, some of which could possibly find applications in their own enterprises. Executive officers of companies that need scientific inputs have a chance to see Guyana’s best young innovators exhibit their prowess in Anna Regina during April 22-25, 2014.
Finally, I must thank the organizers for affording me a most spirit-lifting two hours at the fair last Friday.