Educational enrichment can come in many ways — even by visiting solid waste management facilities.
That’s exactly what happened when six students travelled to Ontario, Canada, for the 2018 Dart Scholar Summer Enrichment Trip.
The Dart Scholars included Cayman Prep and High School’s Ethan Slocock and Christian Dyer; Cayman International School’s Cristin Jackson; Layman E. Scott Senior High School’s Thomas Sevik Jr.; and St. Ignatius Catholic School’s Diandra Whittaker and Jade Wilkinson.
On the trip, the students learned about sustainable energy, landfill redevelopment and mitigation, and waste-to-energy technologies first-hand from industry experts while visiting the Durham-York Energy Centre and the Keele Valley Landfill.
At the Durham-York Energy Centre, where landfill-bound waste is converted to electrical energy that powers over 10,000 homes, the students were able to see an innovated solution to the solid waste management challenges facing communities around the world. The facility is similar to the DECCO Consortium’s proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System facility for development on
The six Dart Scholars also visited the closed and remediated Keele Valley Landfill, which was once ranked as the third largest landfill in North America. Today the site has a second life as a significant green space and a public park. Students had an opportunity to learn about landfill mitigation and apply those lessons to the context of Cayman Islands.
Martin Edelenbos, DECCO’s lead in the Integrated Solid Waste Management System project, served as one of the two chaperones. Edelenbos previously managed the Keele Valley Landfill and he also contributed to the design of the Material Recovery Facility at the Peel Region’s Integrated Waste Management Facility, which the students also visited. His familiarity with these sites allowed the students to get a behind-the-scenes look at the two facilities.
“It was a pleasure to introduce the Dart Scholars to the various facilities,” said Edelenbos, “especially since waste management is currently so topical in the Cayman Islands.”
Also accompanying the Dart Scholars was Dart Enterprises Education Programmes Manager Glenda McTaggart, who sees the summer enrichment trips as an annual highlight of her job. Since launching the programme in 2012, she has organised enrichment trips to several locations around the world, including to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva, Switzerland last year.
“The summer enrichment trip is designed to be STEM in action and to give our scholars an interesting and engaging learning experience outside of the classroom,” said McTaggart. “I hope our scholars are able to apply this learning to Cayman’s environmental challenges.”
This year’s trip also included visits to the Ontario Science Centre and Royal Ontario Museum as well as sightseeing at Niagara Falls, Toronto Island and Wonderland, Canada’s largest amusement park. The group activities and travel offered an opportunity to explore different cultures and develop friendships with their fellow Scholars.
“Experiencing downtown Toronto was something quite special coming from such a small island,” said Ethan Slocock.
Each year, the Dart Scholars programme awards scholarships to noteworthy high school and university students, providing them with financial assistance, mentorship opportunities, educational enrichment and meaningful work experience. The foundation of Dart’s education programmes is the Dart family’s philosophy of promoting education and fostering academic excellence.