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Two teams from San Pedro High School’s Academic Department have entered the Sagicor Visionary Challenge that encourages secondary and high school students to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them. Their challenge – to find a problem affecting the community and coming up with a solution through their science background.

The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR, and the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) partnered to form the first Science competition known as the Sagicor Visionary Challenge. That challenge for the San Pedro High Team, led by Mr. Ricardo Sedacy, Head of the Science and Math Department at SPHS, is aimed as using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the problems that they have identified in the community.

The teams at San Pedro High have identified two main problems affecting the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye which they have pinpointed to be the improper waste management of garbage and the high cost of electricity.

Team 1 is an all female senior group who have taken the task of waste management. At the competition they will be presenting a plan to develop a sanitary landfill for the island which will eliminate the need of burning waste that adds to the greenhouse effect (air pollution) and even dropping the idea of barging out the island’s waste to Belize City for disposal which can become very expensive. This project plans on the burial of waste and taking advantage of the methane produced by the decomposing waste by collecting it and using it for cooking purposes.

San Pedro High Academics Enter Sagicor Visionary Challenge

Mr. Ricardo Sedacy with Team 1 - Rosanna Guerrero, Kaila Wade, Shanairy Xiu and Jacqueline Hernandez

Team 2 is an all male team comprised of sophomore, junior and senior students who have taken up the task to tackle the high cost of electricity by providing a plan to adapt wind energy to produce electricity in common households and businesses. Their plan will start by educating the community in building an eco-friendly wind converter (WEC) to power large resorts so as to cut down expenses and protect the environment at the same time. Their windmills will be custom built with calculations made on how much energy is required to produce power for a specific establishment.

San Pedro High Academics Enter Sagicor Visionary Challenge

Team 2 - Jahson Wright, Bruce Garbutt, Michael Sosa, Lester Alvarez, Kevin Fuentes

Entries are first evaluated and judged at the national level in each of the Challenge Countries, with the winning school in each country moving on to the regional competition that will take place in Barbados. Representatives of national school winners and their respective teachers will also participate in a 7-day, all-expenses STEM Ambassador Program to Florida; plus there is a $10,000 prize set for the winning team.

Both teams at San Pedro High are building scale models of their projects and will present their plans to the Mayor of San Pedro for possible adaptation to the community’s needs. In order for them to accomplish their goal and the requirement of promoting the project by educating primary schools in the community and at the same time carry out both project plans at San Pedro High and the community, the Science Department is requesting assistance from the community. The department is looking for help from the local and business community to support in the expenses needed in promoting, implementing and participating in the competition that will take place on December 3, 2014, at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City. Please contact Mr. Ricardo Sedacy at phone number 604-3732 or email: [email protected]

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Dorian Nuñez

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