Tue | Dec 12, 2017

St Mary Technical gets renovated chemistry lab

Published:Monday | September 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Students at the St Mary Technical High School demonstrate an experiment to the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley, and Mayor of Port Maria and Councillor Richard Creary during the opening of the new chemistry lab last week Wednesday.

The St Mary Technical High School last week Wednesday reopened its newly renovated chemistry laboratory, made possible by a donation from Petrojam Limited, Jamaica's sole oil refinery.

The institution is the only technical high school in St Mary with an enviable academic and athletic record that makes it one of the most sought-after for Grade Six Achievement Test students in northeast Jamaica.

The schools' principal, Glascine McCormack-Lazarus, a past student, explained that the institution is currently implementing the Ministry of Education's STEM curriculum, which focuses on the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

"This donation has come at the right time as improvements have been in the pipeline for the chemistry and integrated science labs. This upgrade will play a key role in the proper development of the skills and aptitude of the student, to better equip them for examinations," she noted.

Petrojam decided to step in to provide financial assistance for the retrofitting of the chemistry lab to provide more modern and relevant facilities for students to complete laboratory work.

Over the years, Petrojam has assisted several outreach programmes, this according to Petrojam's general manager, Floyd Grindley.

"We saw an opportunity to assist when St Mary Technical High School reached out to us. They are currently trying to implement certain aspects of the curriculum that require a functional laboratory. The results of these classes directly affect us as we need more persons studying the STEM subjects.

"Our core business at Petrojam is refining, and we require persons who have an in-depth knowledge of science and technically oriented subjects, and so if we can pave the way for these potential employees, we are all for it," Grindley said.

The 45-year-old institution currently caters to the needs of approximately 1,200 students, with 65 members of academic staff, 17 ancillary workers, and seven on the administration team.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Dr Andrew Wheatley; Mayor of Port Maria, Councillor for the Richmond division, and board member of Petrojam, Richard Creary, were also in attendance at the handover. Both were equally elated that Petrojam was able to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the school.