Shamone Fine – A STEM Ambassador

At the start of the Caribbean Science Foundation’s 2014 Student Program for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE), Shamone Fine introduced herself as, among other things, a student of Decarteret College in Manchester, Jamaica who planned to become a doctor.  Four weeks later she is not so sure. Instead, her mind has been opened to the many career possibilities that exist in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and she is excited about exploring her options.

“As a graduate of the SPISE programme, I am now fully informed about how diversified the field of science is and how fascinating it can be to explore what it has to offer,” said Shamone Fine.

The SPISE programme was held at the Cave Hill Campus at the University of the West Indies from July 19 to August 16th has been supported by the Caribbean Development Bank and other national, regional, public and private organisations this year.

“We were pleased to expand our support of the SPISE programme this year and are encouraged by the way it has broadened the worldview and outlook of each of the students. The programme is well run and we commend Prof. Cardinal Warde and the entire team,” said Klao Bell-Lewis, Head of Communications at the Caribbean Development Bank.

SPISE’s objective is to groom the Region’s next generation of technology entrepreneurs and leaders in science, engineering and business and Shamone thinks it is well on the way to achieving that.

“SPISE also gave me the opportunity to socialize with prospective Caribbean innovators in my age cohort who all share that common vision for the Caribbean which is to be a giver of foreign aid rather than a receiver.  SPISE was the greatest lesson that I have ever been taught and has encouraged me to never undersell myself and to always exercise confidence in my chosen endeavors. The world needs pioneers and it is safe to conclude that SPISE seeks to generate such developers who are not only citizens of this planet but residents of our Caribbean community,” Shamone said.

The participating students were five girls and seven boys from Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Shamone worked on three group projects: a simulated green transportation company; a robotics project where she helped build an underwater robot which could move backward, forward, dive and retrieve floating items; and a skit where the dialogue was completely in Mandarin.

The students were introduced to university-level courses in calculus, physics, biochemistry as well as Mandarin, entrepreneurship and Caribbean Unity. The practical components included building solutions using robotics, renewable energy and electronics. They participated in seminars where they heard first-hand about the career paths, decisions and experiences of six eminent professionals in science and engineering from the Diaspora and the Region, including Grenadian Nicholas Brathwaite, founding partner of Riverwood Capital.

Instructors in the programme included faculty from the University of the West Indies and senior management from the U.S. biotechnology industry. SPISE is modeled after the Minority Introduction to Technology, Engineering and Science programme (MITES) run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at which Prof. Warde has served as the Faculty Director for over 15 years.

Article taken from: Youth Link Magazine of the Gleaner, Jamaica