CDB provides support for young Caribbean STEM scholars

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has once again partnered with the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF) for the 2017 edition of the Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE). SPISE is a five-week residential programme for talented students from across the Caribbean, which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

This year, CDB will provide funding for two students to participate in SPISE – Tracey Moyston, who is from Saint Lucia, and Desmond Edwards from Jamaica. Tracey is a student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Desmond is a student of Campion College, who aspires to be a chemical or biochemical engineer.

“I believe that with SPISE I will gain more knowledge and information which would aid me in the field that I wish to study. I expect the SPISE program to push me a little further with my work and help me advance my level of thinking, all for which I am prepared,” said Moyston.

“I anticipate that the valuable experience to be gained at SPISE will propel me into and prepare me for my future career goals in engineering. You [CDB] have given me a head start and for that I am most grateful,” added Edwards.

This year, 58 students applied to SPISE, and 25 received scholarships to participate. All SPISE students attend the programme free of charge, with sponsorship covering the costs of round-trip airfare from their home country to Barbados, as well as the costs of living expenses for the four weeks. The programme is held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.

SPISE scholars spend four weeks doing university-level courses in calculus, physics, biochemistry and entrepreneurship, with the aim being to stimulate interest in science and engineering. They will also complete hands-on robotic projects.

SPISE is led by Professor Cardinal Warde of MIT, and is modeled after the well-known and highly successful MITES program at the Massachusetts-based university for which Professor Warde has served as the Faculty Director for over 15 years. After completing SPISE, students are eligible for assistance with their college applications, and have the opportunity to participate in research internships in the Caribbean and abroad. Graduates of the programme have gone on to be admitted to universities such as Columbia, Cornell, Duke Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UWI and Yale.

This year’s SPISE activities will end on August 12, 2017.