Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Students urged to ‘change the world’ at JET Research Day

Published:Thursday | May 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Students of Morant Bay High School, first-place winners for their project on the Rudolph Elder Park Beach, pose with their prizes along with Bella Blair (far left) and JET CEO Diana McCaulay (second from right).
Porter Jones

"If you don't like something, don't just complain, change it! C-dot-T-dot-W - Change the World!"

That was the charge given to students by radio personality Paula-Anne Porter Jones at the Jamaica Environment Trust's (JET's) third annual Clean Coasts Project (CCP) Secondary School Research Day and Competition, held on April 27, 2017 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.

Porter Jones - the keynote speaker at the April 27 event held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston - also shared with students her experiences learning to SCUBA dive in Jamaica and at other sites in the Caribbean.




"My biggest disappointment since becoming a scuba diver - no fish," she said, while noting that research was a very important tool for bringing about change.

The research day was funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the Wisynco Group, with additional support from the Natural Resources Conservation Authority and the National Environment and Planning Agency through JET's Schools' Environment Programme.

Students of eight schools from across the island showcased research projects on the theme 'Big Up Wi Beach', and competed for top prizes at the research day event, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston.

"Research was conducted over a two month period at local beaches, examining beach management, the importance of beaches, beach policy and beach conservation," JET said in a release to the media.

"Student presentations included interactive displays, models, and performances of creative pieces on the Big Up Wi Beach theme," it added.

Morant Bay High from St Thomas emerged first place winners for their project on the Rudolph Elder Park Beach. They studied the origin of garbage found on the beach, as well as local attitudes towards solid waste.

The other prizes were all won by Clarendon-based schools.

An excited Kimberlin Gauze from Spalding High in Clarendon won the award for Best Spokesperson. Spalding High also won second prize for their project on Farquhar Beach examining the impacts of deforestation, soil erosion and pollution on the coastline. Bustamante High School from Lionel Town placed third for their research on the Rocky Point Beach.

"We were very happy with the creativity and enthusiasm of the students," noted Suzanne Stanley, JET's Deputy CEO and research judge.

"We hope the research conducted will motivate students and their communities to take better care of our beaches," she added.