Minister of the Environment Romauld Ferreira said he was happy to see, in light of the government’s policy to ban plastics by 2020, the theme of the Friends of the Environment Science Fair was “Investigating and Implementing ways to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics.”
“Without the energies of the young people we are really going nowhere.” He said to the venue full of students, teachers, parents and guests.
He said that The Bahamas as an island nation are stewards of over 100,000 square miles of water, and being aware of the importance of water is significant in protecting our waters from the detrimental effects of plastics.
Mr. Ferreira said that “there can be no more timely a message, a theme, figuring out ways to eliminate single use plastics.”
He encouraged the children to take pride in their country, not just for the sake of our visitors, but for ourselves.
The student’s projects highlighted ideas on alternatives to single use plastics, as well as ways to recycle and re-use those plastics in our daily lives.
Schools from across the island and from as far away as Moors Island attended with their projects which were judged in four different age brackets; Lower and Upper Primary School and Lower and Upper High School.
Winning the prize for the Lower Primary division was Hope Town Primary School with the Upper Primary division being taken by Man-O-War Primary School.
For high school Long Bay School walked away with the top spot for the lower division while Patrick J Bethel High School took first place in the tightly contested upper division.
Olivia Patterson-Maura, Deputy Director of Friends of the Environment, said that “Every year we try to pick a theme that’s related to what’s going on around the world or in The Bahamas – we had already in mind the topic of plastics, then the government made their declaration and it really became so pertinent.”
She said “it was great that the Minister was able to come and see how passionate the students are; I am always amazed at how creative the students are in coming up with real world solutions.”
Mrs. Patterson-Maura said it was great to see how excited the kids are because it means they have pride in what they are doing.
She said she wished that more people from the general public would come by to see the projects – they put so much effort into the projects it would be nice if more people could enjoy them.
She said that success and growth of events like the Science Fair helps Friends feel accomplished in what they are doing “which is to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage people to make change in their daily lives.”
She said that the Science Fair began in about 2004, before which it was an event based on earth day celebrations
She said that Friends is thankful to the many people who worked together to make the Science Fair possible and to New Vision for being such a good venue.