Career & Education

Buff Bay High latest recipient of renovated science lab from Digicel

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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Students in grades 7-9 at Buff Bay High School in Portland will walk into a newly renovated science lab outfitted with new equipment when they return to school in September.

This as a result of work by Digicel Foundation which is expected to help improve performance in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas and enhance the innovation capabilities of some of Jamaica's next generation of scientists and engineers.

Speaking at the handover of the project on Tuesday, July 10, national science coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Sadpha Bennett welcomed the installation and delivery of new, modern scientific equipment.

He commented, “This sort of thrust into science education and more broadly, STEM knowledge, will lead to the development of our students' minds and their interests. Proper exposure to these subject areas and the right resources can lead to the birth of future inventors, scientists, app developers and other such innovative minds of the future.”

Buff Bay High is one of four high schools where the foundation renovated science labs last school year. The others are Tacky High in St Mary, BB Coke High in St Elizabeth, and Green Island High in Hanover. Renovations were completed at a cost of approximately $39 million.

Three additional high schools are slated to receive renovated labs valued at $33 million this year, the foundation said. It however, did not release their names.

“This donation is another example of the foundation's ongoing commitment to science education,” said Chairman Jean Lowrie-Chin.

“Jamaica's proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM subjects — will shape our future and our global competitiveness. So many aspects of our economy and society depend on STEM capabilities. The Digicel Foundation has seen the need to provide tools for the empowerment of our high school students in these areas, in support of the Ministry of Education's new National Standards Curriculum.”

The renovation work featured the supply and installation of new laboratory work counters, double gas turrets and faucets; floor finishes and doors; painting; and electrical work, including an electrical alarm system. The school was also equipped with lab stools, interactive whiteboard solutions, and lab equipment and materials for biology, chemistry, physics and integrated science, as recommended by the Caribbean Examinations Council.

In addition to this project, the Digicel Foundation has partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative to provide 43 schools with mobile science units and complementary equipment — an investment of $100 million.

Digicel said the foundation has, over the last 13 years, completed 1,173 projects and helped over 623,000 people in Jamaica through its focus areas of education, special needs and community empowerment. The spend totals more than US$33 million, it said.

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