||Central Bank Of Barbados
Jonathan Farnum, a 16 year old Queen’s College student, is the Central Bank of Barbados’ 2016 Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) scholar. He, along with 18 other secondary school students from across the region, will take part in an intensive four-week residential programme at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
Farnum, who aspires to be an engineer, explained that he became interested in that career as he watched his godfather, Stuart White, who is a mechanic, work. “Seeing how these individual parts came together to make a functioning system was amazing. It opened my mind to all the possibilities.” Indeed it was SPISE’s focus on hands-on learning that motivated him to apply. “I’m looking forward to getting to interact with machinery and I believe the programme will help me to get one step closer to what I want to do.”
While he acknowledges being “nervous…anxious” about participating in the programme, he is looking forward to everything it has to offer, including lessons in Mandarin. He admits that initially this aspect of the curriculum blindsided him, but he understands the value of learning the language given China’s emergence as a world leader in technology.
SPISE, which began in 2012, is an initiative of the Caribbean Science Foundation. The foundation created the programme to promote the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in the Caribbean. SPISE’s Faculty Director is Professor Cardinal Warde, a prominent Barbadian physicist who is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Warde is also Faculty Director for MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) programme, on which SPISE is based.
The Central Bank of Barbados has sponsored a Barbadian student since SPISE’s inception. This year’s programme runs from July 16 to August 13.