16 Year Old Science Phe­nom is LUCELEC 2016 SPISE Scholar

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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 six­teen 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 uni­ver­sitylevel cal­cu­lus, physics, bio­chem­istry, en­trepreneur­ship, Caribbean unity and Man­darin as well as hands-on projects in com­puter pro­gram­ming, un­der­wa­ter robotics and re­new­able en­ergy/elec­tron­ics.

“SPISE was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The course­work 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 or­gan­ised, 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 in which Re­caii has also par­tic­i­pated.

“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.

LUCELEC SPISE 2016 Scholar Dion Re­caii ac­com­pa­nied by his mom San­dra Re­caii re­ceiv­ing a to­ken from LUCELEC Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager Roger Joseph.

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