Acting NCST Director, Charles Cyrus (far left), next to him is Minister of Commerce, Senator Lynette Eastmond at her left is Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Ernesta Drakes.

Students participating in the Schools’ Science Lecture Series, one of the several events being hosted by the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), to celebrate Science Week 2006, were this morning encouraged to give of their best.

The words of encouragement came from Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs and Business Development, Senator Lynette Eastmond, who also commended the NCST for “bringing the knowledge of science and technology to the Barbadian public in a way they could appreciate, that of a competition”.

This biennial event is open to secondary and tertiary institutions and according to Senior Technical Officer with the NCST, Arlene Weekes, “the overall aim of this programme is to enhance presentation and research skills of the students participating and significantly increase their interest in, and level of awareness of science and technology in Barbados.”

Senator Eastmond, in her address at the start of the first lecture debate, which focused on “Wind energy and hydroelectric power as viable alternatives for the Caribbean”, noted that the topics for the lecture series were all beneficial to the student now and in the future.

“What you get out of these debates will help to build your life and careers. The knowledge you acquire now will be beneficial to you at 35 years and beyond even if you don’t become a scientist.” she said.

She underscored the importance of research as a key element of any debate, noting that “the ability to do research is critical because it puts you in a position to do almost anything”.

The Commerce Minister told the participating schools they should always be willing to work with others and towards a common goal; be able to articulate their thoughts and be gracious in both defeat and victory.

The Seventh Day Adventist School won today’s debate over Deighton Grifffith Secondary School.  The next round of the debating series takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, December 05 at the Grande Salle at 10.00 a.m.

Alexandra School will come up against the Barbados Community College, debating the topic “In view of the dwindling flying fish and other capture fisheries stock; aquaculture is a viable alternative for fisheries in Barbados”.

The debate will be followed by a lecture which will be given by Professor Hazel Oxenford, of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

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