A warning system for flooded fordings, a honey extractor, and an ackee power project, were some of the innovations that received top honours at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) National Science and Technology Exposition on April 22 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The event served to showcase and reward the best scientific innovations and inventions created by preparatory, primary, secondary, and tertiary students, from the three regional expositions held earlier this year in Mandeville, Manchester Kingston, and Montego Bay St. James.
The flood warning system, which won first place in the Grade 10 to 11 category, was created by students of the Green Pond Primary School in St. James. Shasoy Henry, a 10th grade student at the school, explained to JIS News that the system served as a warning signal for motorists attempting to cross flooded fordings.
Sixth grade student at Sunderland Primary School, Camilia Wallace, explains the essence of the science entry, ‘Leach Proof Gravoponics and Seanimure Fertilizers for Survival’, which seek to prevent leach from infecting plants. Occasion was the Science and Technology Exposition 2009, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, on April 22. Sunderland Primary copped third place in the four to six category. The exposition, which showcased exhibits from the three regional finals, held across the island in Mandeville, Manchester Kingston and Montego Bay, St.James was held in collaboration with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo), the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica.
“We have put in place the ford light because we are thinking about the hurricane season, which is approaching. Whenever it is the hurricane season or heavy rains, there is a lot of flooding at different fords, gullies, etcetera. The lights will benefit all of us by decreasing the number of deaths of persons trying to cross the flooded roadways,” she told JIS News.
In explaining how the system worked, Shasoy said that leads were placed inside the fords at different levels. The leads trigger lights, which serve as a warning signal “to tell you when to go and when not to go.”
Tenth grade students at the Greenpond High School, Shaneka Jacks (left) and Shanique Buchanan, demonstrate how the warning system works for motorists attempting to cross flooded fordings, at the National Finals of the Science and Technology Exposition 2009, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston, on April 22. Greenpond High emerged as first place winner in the 10 to 11 category. The exposition, which showcased exhibits from the three regional finals held across the island in Mandeville Manchester, Kingston and Montego Bay St. James, was held in collaboration with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPSCo), the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica.
A red light, followed by a cacophony of buzzers and a barrier, signalled extreme danger “and you should not attempt, at all, to cross,” she pointed.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy and Mining, Hon. Laurence Broderick, who viewed the exhibits, praised the creative works of the students. “The innovations, inventions, and scientific displays that I have witnessed, have convinced me that the future of our nation is in good hands,” he said.
Mr. Broderick noted that what was now needed was for the necessary capital support to develop the projects. He said Jamaica has had a long tradition of excellence in science and technology and encouraged the students to continue to build on that legacy for national development.
Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council, Dr. Audia Barnett, in her remarks said that science and education were powerful tools for sustainable growth.
She noted that the quality of the exhibits have shown that there were many scientists in the country and “the scope and opportunity for innovations is enormous.”
“We need to capture some of this and turn them into commercial prospects,” she stated, noting that the Council was committed to providing guidance “while together we explore prospects, for the benefit of our country”.
The national exposition is an annual event of the JPS, to stimulate greater interest by students in science and its role in national development. The event is held in collaboration with the SRC and the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica (ASTJ).
Other winners were: Excelsior Primary in Kingston in the grade four to six category for their ackee power project, which showed how the ackee pod can be used as a substitute for coal; while deCarteret College in Manchester was the grade seven to nine winners for their use of lemon grass to create a multiplicity of products such as aftershave and essence.
The College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE) in Portland won the tertiary category for their honey extractor. The machine is designed to harvest honey efficiently.
Cash awards of $200,000 plus trophies and plaques went to the winning schools, while the students got $100,000 and MP3 players. The teachers, who supervised the projects, received $70,000 each.