Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
Principal Noel Burgess of the Sunderland Primary School in St James hopes to use the Sunderland Quick Patch, which his students invented, to plug the problem of potholes in his community.
Sunderland Primary School copped the JPS Youth Innovator's Award and $1 million for their innovative quick-patch compound. The material is made from organic waste materials (shredded paper and waste oil). It is combined with aggregate to produce pothole-patch material that is competitive in price and matches in quality to other materials currently on the market.
The rural, farming community of Sunderland is plagued with bad roads and Burgess said he would like for the material to be used to patch several potholes in the community.
"We will use it on a stretch of the Sunderland main road provided that we receive permission from the relevant authorities to do so. The victory has given the community of Sunderland and the student body a great push as the residents are very happy with the project and have agreed to support us on our mission," Burgess stated.
PLAN TO ESTABLISH BUSINESS
The principal further outlined that some of the prize money would be used to set up Quick Patch Business which, in turn, will create jobs for persons in the community and give some of the funds to the students who worked hard to secure the top prize.
"My students played a key role in the making of the material. It started when we were preparing for the JPS Science Competition. The students did research on the making of the quick patch and now that we have won the money, some of it will go toward setting up the business, investing some in the school, and some will be given to the students," he pointed out.
In recognising the efforts of the students and the school's administrative body, Member of Parliament for East Central St James Edmund Bartlett congratulated them and pledged to continue to support their endeavours.
"This falls within my thrust for education as a tool of empowerment and growth, so I am very happy for them and the community, which also stands to benefit when the business gets off the ground."
CAPTION: Member of parliament for East Central St James, Edmund Bartlett (third left) with (from left) Okeane Rankin, Kerry-Ann Gardner, Amarillo Burgess, Semorne Lawrence, guidance counsellor, and Principal Noel Burgess of Sunderland Primary School in St James. The occasion was a lunch he hosted for members of the Sunderland Primary Innovators Club, who copped the Youth Innovators Award at the recently concluded JPS Science Competition. - Photo by Barrington Flemming