St. Mary’s College Student Wants To Be An Engineer
DION Recaii is the 2016 Saint Lucia SPISE (Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering) scholar. He was one of 19 chosen from a field of 48 applicants across the region. His participation in the four week regional programme held annually at UWI-Cave Hill in Barbados was sponsored by the St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC).
The 16 year old who prefers to be called by his middle name Jelani, graduated from the St Mary’s College this year with Grade 1 passes (all A Profile) in fifteen subjects. He is also an avid chess player who captained his SMC chess team to three Secondary School National Chess Tournaments in his final three years at the school.
LUCELEC has sponsored one SPISE student from Saint Lucia since the programme of the Caribbean Science Foundation began in 2011. SPISE is premised on developing core capabilities in Science, Technical Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as necessary learning tools because of their implications for economic issues.
This year, the students were challenged with classes that included university-level calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship, Caribbean unity and Mandarin as well as hands-on projects in computer programming, under-water robotics and renewable energy/electronics.
“SPISE was an amazing experience. The course work was very intense and challenging but I also had a lot of fun being around so many interesting people who share a common passion for science. I was exposed to university level coursework and I learnt a lot academically. SPISE also taught me many other life lessons such as how to manage my time better and stay organized and how to work in a team effectively,” says Recaii.
The young scholar wants to be an engineer because “I love science and mathematics as well as building and creating things so engineering is the perfect field that will allow me to combine all these interests.” Being part of SPISE, which included career seminars by successful professionals cemented this path for him.
The programme nurtures and grooms the next generation of Caribbean science and technology leaders and entrepreneurs in an effort to assist with the development of the Region. It is one of the reasons LUCELEC continues to support SPISE as an extension of its longstanding support for the National Science and Technology Fair which Recaii has also participated in.
“SPISE was a very important programme for me. The experiences that I had and lessons learnt will be very helpful in my life. I would highly recommend SPISE to anyone who has a passion for STEM and is willing to challenge themselves,” he says.
Recaii is currently studying Pure Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College’s Division of Arts Science and General Studies.