My Son is a Budding Scientist
Mark Watt has become even more proud of his son Michael, after he won a top award in the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica’s Energy Conservation Incentive Programme for Schools, held last month.
The 14 year old St. Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) student was one of a three-member team which got the award for the leading high school project. Nearly 1,000 students and 75 teachers from 50 schools island-wide, competed for nearly $1 million in prizes, presented at the awards ceremony held at the Knutsford Court Hotel.
“His project was exceptional,” said Mark, a Recovery Officer in the JNGI Claims Department. “He has a lot more to accomplish in the future.”
Michael’s team worked with their Chemistry teacher on a project to convert used plastic bottles into petroleum. The students had been required to develop a project using the theme ‘Improving the Lives of our Citizens Through Renewable Energy and/or Energy Efficient Technologies and Products’.
In commending the outstanding work presented, the PCJ’s chairman, Chris Cargill, said, “the students were asked to apply their creativity and analysis to a number of very critical issues, some of which are currently being tackled by decision makers and experts in the energy sector.”
“They vaporized the plastic to turn it into oil,” Mark said. The demonstration project shows the potential for Jamaica to benefit significantly from increasing the level of plastic recycling.
“Michael wants to become a scientist,” Mark stated. “His schoolwork is good and his teachers are proud of him.”
Michael grew up in Tivoli Gardens and attended St. Aloysius Primary School in Kingston. His father explained, “I did not have to teach him to read. He learned on a computer.”
During his years at St. Aloysius, Michael settled down and his grades started to improve, to the point where he won a JN General Insurance Scholarship when he entered STATHS.
“He had a lot of things to distract him,” Mark said, “but I told him, don’t become a follower.”
Mark noted that the attention that he gives to Michael has played an important role in his success, and he makes it a priority to listen to him, as well as his two other children. “What they are saying is important. You might have a lot on your plate, but take the time to pay attention,” he emphasized.
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