Regional 2017 SECME winners announced

Sunland Baptist Academy Team.

This year’s SECME (Science, Engineering, Communication, Mathematics, and Enrichment) competition introduced an exciting new section called Robotics, and the Sunland Baptist Academy’s team swept away the competition with their Clawbot Robot. 


The Regional SECME Competition winners were announced Tuesday (April 11) at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant, during the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Lucaya.


The 19th Annual Regional SECME Competition Grand Bahama District was held on Friday, April 7 at the Jack Hayward Senior High School (JHSHS) gym, where students from various primary, junior and senior high school on the island took part.


The categories included the Water Bottle Rocket, Mousetrap Car, Sweep Away Clawbot Robot and Starstruck Robotics, There was also an Essay and Poster Making contests. 


Dennis Knowles, Rotary Club of Lucaya’s Coordinator for SECME and the Science Club on Grand Bahama, explained that each year the program has evolved and this year a new section, Robotics, was introduced.


“For 19 years Mousetrap Car has been the most technically challenging event in the SECME lineup, but recently they added Robotics – it is expensive, at around $1,000 per robot and extra for the auxiliary stuff that has to be used. 


“Thankfully, our sponsors stepped in and helped with the purchases necessary. The Mouse Trap and Bottle Rocket are very inexpensive and anyone could have those materials,” Knowles stated.


The SECME Coordinator shared his excitement over the additional segment of the competition and the chance the students now have to think in a different way involving more than just the mechanical side. “So this has taken the technical part to a whole new level, as the students have to be more into the communication side and scientific side rather than just the mechanical,” he added.


According to Knowles, by having two different category of Robot, the students have an opportunity to play with the different ones. “The program is at a point, where it has reached a different level and the students get to play more. This new section has and will challenge the students and help them once they go off to higher education,” Knowles said.


Noting that he was bursting with pride on April 7 as he watched the students compete in the JHSHS gym, Knowles said, “It is such a pleasure to deal with students of this type and education. It is a pleasure to help the students on a road to a better life.”


The winners in the Clawbot Robotics competition were presented with iPads courtesy of BTC and the Bottle Rocket winners received round trip tickets courtesy of Sky Bahamas. 


Knowles said that the Rotary Club will finance the travel costs for the Mouse Trap competition to be held at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa on June 24.


He noted that for the past 10 years teams from Grand Bahama have always performed extremely well and he does not expect any different this time around.


The SECME Coordinator also shared that the interviews for the scholarship program at Kettering University, which have been a major sponsor of SECME on Grand Bahama, will be held in May.


Nonito Viajar, teacher and coach of the Bishop Michael Eldon High School (BMES) teams explained that his enthusiasm for competitions came from when he was encouraged him to enter any and every competition. “I understood the importance of being exposed, so now it is my wish to expose my students the same way,” Viajar noted.


The BMES coach acknowledged the success of the school’s SECME teams over the last four years, having placed second in the international competition each time. “This year we expect to come first,” Viajar added.


Viajar said that eight schools on Grand Bahama are a part of the Science Club and with administrators and teachers backing the club, it will continue to grow and produce students that excel in engineering and the sciences in general.


Robert Lewis, Deputy Head Boy at Sunland Baptist Academy and member of the winning Clawbot Robotics Competition said, although he felt the team was well prepared and ready to win, he was still very excited when they were announced as overall winners. 


“It was very time consuming and challenging, as on Thursdays and Saturdays we prepared and practiced. We were the first team to finish and after all of the practice we put in, as a team, none of us were totally surprised when we were announced as the winners. Getting the iPad made me happy too,” Lewis said. 


Official results from this year’s competition are as follows:


Essay Writing Contest: Primary - First, Phebe Thompson, Freeport Primary; second, Vernice Flores, Bishop Michael Eldon and third, Shivani Yellapragada. 


Junior - First, Travis Forbes, Bishop Michael Eldon School.


Poster Making Contest: Primary - First, Freeport Primary School, Halle Bannister; second, Bishop Michael Eldon School, Kameah Adderley; third, Walter Parker Primary School, Waheed Colebrooke. Junior - First, Bishop Michael Eldon School, Matt Viajar; second Jack Hayward Junior High School, Damara Sturrup. 


Senior - First, Bishop Michael Eldon, Amor Ferguson.


Mousetrap Car Competition: Primary - First, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Greyson Malabanan, Shivani Yellapragada and Vernice Flores; second, Freeport Primary School – Demari Clarke, Lebron McIntosh and Kenyon Tate. 


Junior - First, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Serena Seymour, William Moss and Giana Malabanan; second, Jack Hayward Junior High School; Senior- First, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Ambrose Cartwright, Dillon Archer and Tyler Adderley; second, Eight Mile Rock High School; third, Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy.


Water Bottle Rocket Competition: Primary - First, Freeport Primary School – Ava Watkins, Phebe Thompson and Aysha Hepburn; second, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Farah Flower, Eliana Seymour and Kameah Adderley; third, Walter Parker Primary School – Camille Williams, Earl Viajar and Kaedrin Forbes. 


Junior - First, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Roshawn Rolle, Matt Viajar and Jadyn Pinder; second, Jack Hayward Junior; Senior - First, Bishop Michael Eldon School – Liam Mason, Nashon Jones and Maria Bulalacao; second, Eight Mile Rock High School; third, St. Georges’ High School.


Sweep Away Clawbot Robotics Competition: First, Sunland Baptist Academy – Leonardo Bridgewater, Robert Lewis, Stephen Gibson and Sharvis Brown; second, Bishop Michael Eldon Jr. – Travis Forbes, Jaheim Lightbourne, Alvonte Garland and Alvarez Garland; third, Bishop Michael Eldon Sr. – Roshawn Rolle, Rhys Davies, Lynique Greene and Lavonne Mack.


Starstruck Robotics Competition: First - ‘Statosphere’ – Matt Viajar, Srujana Yellapragada, Ryan Lafleur and Jadyn Pinder; second - ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ – Gabriel Malabanan, Kenneth Leung, Jaheim Lightbourne and Dwayne Gardiner; third- ‘Scorpions’ – Alex Dareus, Antonio Forbes, Nashon Jones, David Major, Jr., Xavier Robinson and Branden McKenzie.


Published  Thursday, April 13, 2017 


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