More than $2M in Cash and Prizes Awarded in PCJ Schools Energy Competition

Photo: Mark Bell Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley (left), and Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Group General Manager, Winston Watson (2nd left), are briefed by student of Bog Walk High School in St. Catherine, Dujauni Haughton (right), on the institution’s entry in this year’s PCJ Schools’ Energy Competition during the awards ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on June 30. Others looking on are Bog Walk High students Jevaughn Allen (centre) and Leon Grant.

Story Highlights

  • More than $2.6 million in cash and prizes were awarded to the top performers in this year’s renewal of the annual Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Schools Energy Programme Competition.
  • A record 1,974 students, aged six to 19, from 85 primary and secondary schools participated in this year’s staging, which was held under the theme ‘Using Natural Resources to Generate Renewable Energy at Your School” and culminated with an awards ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 30.
  • Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, who toured the science exhibit, praised the students for their ingenuity in initiating solutions to the country’s pressing energy needs.

More than $2.6 million in cash and prizes were awarded to the top performers in this year’s renewal of the annual Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) Schools Energy Programme Competition.

A record 1,974 students, aged six to 19, from 85 primary and secondary schools participated in this year’s staging, which was held under the theme ‘Using Natural Resources to Generate Renewable Energy at Your School’ and culminated with an awards ceremony at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on June 30.

Cedric Titus Comprehensive High School from Trelawny topped the 16 to 19 age group for science, with the four-member team copping the $200,000 cash prize for their innovative waste-to-energy biodigester unit.

Additionally, each member of the team was awarded a trophy and day passes to the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay.

Second place went to Westwood High School, also from Trelawny, for their solar energy project, which landed them $160,000 in cash and prizes.

The all-girl school was also adjudged this year’s overall top school, having won the 13 to 15 age group science competition, and placing second in 16 to 19 age category of the essay competition

Additionally, PCJ awarded each school $500,000 to assist in funding the installation of the energy-efficient systems that were designed by the students at the institutions.

The teams will also work with the PCJ’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Department, which will provide recommendations and oversight in developing the projects.

Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, who toured the science exhibit, praised the students for their ingenuity in initiating solutions to the country’s pressing energy needs.

“We believe that the young people are critical to creating energy literacy in the country. By raising the level of awareness and appreciation for the cost of energy, speaks volumes to the success of this programme,” he said.

In his remarks, PCJ Group General Manager, Winston Watson, noted that while the entity’s mandate is to drive Jamaica’s energy programme through government ministries, departments and agencies, as well as schools and hospitals, “we figure another way to get this message across is to start with the kids”.

“So, if we can get the children to learn about energy and conservation, they can, in turn, teach their parents, and we can drive that message through until the whole society is knowledgeable about energy and conservation, and, hopefully, that will get us on the right path,” he stated.

The annual competition challenges students to propose scientific solutions to prevailing industry issues as well as highlight the importance of energy conservation and diversity through prose and illustrated designs.

The programme exposes participating students to the energy industry through seminars with industry experts and tours at energy facilities, with the aim of promoting the importance of conservation and diversity among youth.

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