Innovation on display at MBCC’s ‘Battle of the Sciences’

Innovation on display at MBCC’s ‘Battle of the Sciences’
By Zaheer E. Clarke

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Montego Bay Community College (MBCC) held its inaugural ‘Battle of Sciences’ Expo and Competition on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, in commemoration of Science and Technology Month.

The main objectives of the competition were to engender critical thinking among the students, promote a problem-based approach to learning, and to spark innovation and interest in the sciences.
The faculty, which offers Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Geography and Physics, among its core science subjects at the CAPE level, had its students from each subject area submit innovative projects and ideas that would solve problems at the college, in their community and the wider world.

Dr. Maureen Nelson, the acting Principal of MBCC, bubbled with pride and surprise at the intense research, scope and relevance of the projects on display. She remarked that at least one of the projects would be implemented forthwith at the college, with several others earmarked for further discussions with stakeholders in the wider society.

Guest Speaker at the function, Mr. O’Neil Nelson, an electrical engineer, spoke to the students about the history of scientific and engineering inventions. He robustly encouraged the students to use the projects they did and the Battle of the Sciences expo as a catalyst to participate in more creative, inventive and cutting-edge solutions that tap into everyday necessities.
The biology group’s Plastic-Paper project looked at the various ways in which polyethylene and other plastics can be recycled as paper for writing, printing and decorative purposes. Hydroelectricity as an alternative to Jamaica’s highly dependent fossil fuel based electricity source was the project the geography group examined. The chemistry group’s Chemical Christmas project looked at producing hydrogen gas as a clean and alternative energy source for use in producing heat and electricity during the Yuletide season.

The Parrotfish Mariculture-Algaculture project, proposed by the environmental science group won two awards, for the most creative project and the Jamaica Public Service third placed trophy. Their project looked at growing commercial parrotfish in saltwater ponds for human consumption, which would prevent depletion of the parrotfishes in the wild, which are essential for coral reef ecosystems.

The agricultural science group won two awards, the Paul Graham Award for the best evidence of scientific research and the Jamaica Public Service second place trophy for their Biodigester-BioVolts project. This project involved converting common biowaste to fuel and electricity, which can be used in the school’s canteen and hospitality food labs for cooking and other purposes.

The overall champion of the inaugural Battle of the Sciences Expo was the all-female Physics student group. They won two awards, for the most relevant project and the National Energy Solutions first place trophy for their Electric Money Saver project. The students evaluated the monthly energy consumption of the college and created a replica of their Physics lab. They showed how motion sensors – they created – can be used to reduce the college’s energy bill by switching on and off the lights, fans and the air conditioning units located in the college’s offices, classrooms and laboratories when not in use.

All of the groups who participated in the competition received complimentary cakes on behalf of MegaMart.

Head of the organizing committee, Mrs. Nichola Beckford-Cameron said, “The dream is not to curtail the ‘Battle of the Sciences’ to Montego Bay Community College. However, the dream is to expand it across Western Jamaica and the entire country with a view to promote problem-based learning and application in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subject areas.”

“Montego Bay Community College Working to Maintain its Reputation”

The administration at the Montego Bay Community College, in St. James, is unrelenting in its efforts to maintain its reputation as the college of choice among persons seeking tertiary-level training in western Jamaica.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the college, Ruiz Warren, who addressed a JIS ‘Think Tank’ in Montego Bay, on November 7, said the institution remains very appealing to students leaving high schools in western Jamaica, and has been expanding on all fronts to meet the growing demand.
The Montego Bay Community College was opened in 1975 and currently has an enrolment of 1,920 students and 111 staff members at both its St. James and Westmoreland campuses.

The administration at the Montego Bay Community College, in St. James, is unrelenting in its efforts to maintain its reputation as the college of choice among persons seeking tertiary-level training in western Jamaica.

Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the college, Ruiz Warren, who addressed a JIS ‘Think Tank’ in Montego Bay, on November 7, said the institution remains very appealing to students leaving high schools in western Jamaica, and has been expanding on all fronts to meet the growing demand.

Mr. Warren, who also studied at the college, said the trend of students deciding to pursue tertiary-level education at the institution over other more established universities, has been growing.

“The educational landscape in western Jamaica has expanded tremendously in the last number of years, and so all the institutions are aggressively marketing their programmes and trying to attract students,” he said.

Mr. Warren said the flexibility with which students can study at the Montego Bay Community College is a big plus for the institution.

Meanwhile, Acting Principal of the College, Dr. Maureen Nelson, said the institution is actively pursuing the idea of offering more foreign language training to its students.

The college currently offers conversational Spanish as part of some courses, and Dr. Nelson is planning to add more to meet the influx of visitors coming into Montego Bay, especially from the Far East.

The Montego Bay Community College was opened in 1975 and currently has an enrolment of 1,920 students and 111 staff members at both its St. James and Westmoreland campuses.


MBCC Students Launch Tax Calculation App

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Final-year Management Information System (MIS) students at the Montego Bay Community College, in St James, have launched an innovative mobile calculator application to improve the calculation of taxes and Grade Point Average (GPA) of students.

The application, which is called ‘JAM-CAL’, was launched at the college recently after months of research and work by the six-member group.

Leader of the group, Carlton Ellis, tells JIS News that although the project formed part of the final-year MIS grade, it was conceptualised with the wider public in mind.

He says that over the years the calculation of income and other taxes, as well as the GPA of students, has been a challenge and JAM-CAL, with its multiple functions, is now the solution.

Ellis notes that being curious about how deductions are made from the salaries of working people also pushed members of the group to conduct detailed research in order to produce the application.

“JAM-Cal is an application which houses numerous calculators that will give you the power in the palm of your hands to calculate Pay As You Earn (PAYE). A student can use it to calculate his or her GPA in the future,” he says.

“More calculators will be added. We created a windows application after which we decided to make a mobile application. One of the benefits of this application is that you can install it on your mobile device once; thereafter, you do not need the Internet or a web browser in order to use it,” Ellis explains.

He points out that the application took two months of research and hard work, but now that it is available, the view is that the mission has been accomplished.

Production of the application received significant support from the management of the College, but particularly sixth-form student at the Green Pond High School in St. James, Shermar Anderson, who is being mentored by Ellis.

Shermar tells JIS News that although he is not a student at Montego Bay Community College, his interest in information technology (IT) drew him into the production of the application.

“I played a developer’s role in getting the User Interface (UI) aspect in place. This ensured that the application was user-friendly. I feel very good knowing that I was able to play a part in this very important application, which is going to be enjoyed by the public,” he notes.

Shermar says he plans to become a computer scientist, and at Green Pond High his line of study is all in the technical area, as he is hoping to develop other applications.

Endorsing the application, Dean of Continuing Education at Montego Bay Community College, Karen Gayle, says the benefits are enormous and will assist not only students at the college, but members of the wider public in their day-to-day accounting activities.

“We do not take innovations lightly, especially in this era in which we live. We teach entrepreneurship and small-business management. We really want to encourage students to use the knowledge, the skills, the competences that they gain in their courses to innovate,” Gayle tells JIS News.

“Members of the group are responsible for developing an application that will change the lives of people generally. We are very pleased,” she adds.

Gayle is encouraging the students to take the application as far as possible, “so that your lives can be changed and the people who use it can benefit from it”.


Faculty of Business & General Studies Conference 2016

“Trends in Technology: Remaining Relevant in a Dynamic Business Environment”

Harnessing technology and innovation to inspire positive changes took the spotlight when students from the Montego Bay Community College recently staged their 2016 Faculty of Business Conference at the Grandiosa Hotel in Montego Bay.

However, it was emphasised to the students, who came from both the Montego Bay and Frome campuses, that to access these potential avenues and stay relevant in the ever-changing job market, technology has to be utilised efficiently by individuals and businesses through the use of smartphones and other gadgets.

Those sentiments were reflected in the event’s theme, ‘Trends in Technology: Remaining Relevant in a Dynamic Business Environment.’

“The technology is there because of us, but we are not deriving the value that needs to be derived,” said guest speaker Douglas Williamson, senior IT manager at Xerox. “If you continue to not embrace the technology, then you are guaranteed to get left behind.”

“You have just finished your first sprint, so do not put away your running shoes,” Williamson implored the students, who are all eyeing successful careers in the IT sector. “You must have the ability to seek out and acquire the tools and skills necessary for change, even outside the school. Assume an attitude of lifelong learning.”

Following the conference, Delano Bailey, one of the students who participated, told the Western Focus that the overall message has given him a different outlook on how he plans to prepare himself for the job market.

“The aspects that caught my attention the most was the Internet and social media and how we utilise them to network for the world of work,” said Bailey. “I also got an appreciation of how important it was for businesses to effectively market products using the correct media.”

Another student, Shanique Kerr, who was also quite enthused by the experience, says she is ready to go out and tackle changing times, albeit, she has already set personal goals.

“… personal goals must also adapt and change to ensure a steady growth of not just the individuals, but his or her company and economy,” noted Kerr. “I am preparing myself to adapt and change, where that approach is needed.”  >>Source<<

Fashion Show

MONTEGO BAY, St JamesFour designers, over 100 pieces and 50 models graced the runway with designs that left the audience in awe last Thursday, as the Montego Bay Community College staged its annual fashion show and dance.

Applause and ovations resounded for the creativity on display, spearheaded by the vision and guidance of Ann-Marie Burgess Brown and Stephanie Taylor, both lecturers in the clothing and fashion designing division at the Montego Bay Community College.

During the show, the patrons – numbering about 250 – were eager to see the next design as they marvelled about the last.

Each designer presented more than 20 pieces, spanning swimwear, elegant and casual wear under the themes: Shades of Blue, Chajuan, N V Designs and Coral Realm, which were the brands used by designers Nordeen Haughton, Mekesshia Simms, Cassandra Blake and Havagaye Heath for their awesome and jaw-dropping pieces.

Models and designers were in unison, rocking awesome shades of blue, black, white and coral, impressing the team of judges comprising Sandra Kennedy, well-known designer and entrepreneur; Ann-Marie Robinson-Chin of Koko Beenz Designs, and the acclaimed Pablo Palair of Pablo Palair Fashions.

The food was a great accompaniment to the main attraction, as patrons were treated to a delectable two-course meal prepared by the lecturers and students of the Hospitality and Creative Studies faculty.

“What was created and witnessed is testament of the strength of the Associate Degree in Clothing and Fashion Design programme at the Montego Bay Community College. Many students have done the programme and have gone on to expand their skills and create fashion for public consumption,” said Casana Spence, the associate dean, workforce development and continuing education division at the college. (source)

Montpelier Agricultural Show 2016

The College offers an Associate Degree in Agricultural Technology and Bachelor’s Degrees in Environmental Studies and Plant Science. We use this event to showcase our offerings in this field and to promote the College as an avenue to pursue an accredited qualification in these areas. This year we showcased the produce at our agricultural plot in Montpelier, Aqua-ponics and launched our Organic pesticide for BlackMoth fly that attacks cabbages.

MBCC Spanish Festival 2016

The Spanish Festival is hosted in an effort to encourage Spanish among the students. MBCC offers Spanish as a course and all students on this day have to express themselves in Spanish depicting food, dance and poetry. The event is part sponsored by the Spanish Foundation of Jamaica and also attracts the Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica.


Inter-Collegiate Championships

The College competes at the Inter-Collegiate Championships each year, proudly representing western Jamaica. We believe in the development and exposure of our athletes and competing against acclaimed Jamaican athletes is great for the College and its students.