The National Science Olympiad, an annual event for schoolchildren and schoolgirls in Haiti

Over the past three years, the National Science Olympiad in Haiti has become an event that students have been eagerly awaiting NS3 and NS4 of the ten sections. This competition is an initiative of the UNESCO Chair in Women and Science for Development and the Institute of Science, Technology and Advanced Studies of Haiti (ISTEAH). The goal of this chair is to increase the number of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields. The Science Olympiad makes it possible to discover young people who have the potential to embrace scientific careers, and also allows students to assess their knowledge of science.

The third version of Haiti National Science Olympiad 2022 It was launched on March 22nd. The competition included 5 groups (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computer Science) with the same weight. This national competition was reserved for freshmen (3rd and 4th) high school students and took place online on April 24th. More than 120 students participated, of whom 53.7% were boys and 46.3% were girls (Fig. 1a). Pupils came from seven departments out of ten (Fig. 1b). Statistical data revealed that the majority of participants came from the North (59.5%) and West (28.9%) (Fig. 1b).

The Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, May 13th at noon via video link. The students accompanied their colleagues, their principal, and their parents in their institutions. This activity was made possible thanks to the support of our sponsors: Sogebank Foundation, Lorquet Foundation, 4C Laboratories, CICA, ISTEAH Student Association, ISTEAH Alumni Association, Haiti Horizons and GRAHN. The President takes this opportunity to thank them. The event was hosted by Ms. Naima Michel, journalist for Télé Pacific Radio and member of the scientific committee of the Chair. On this occasion, several people spoke: Dr. Rose Michelle Smith, Dr. Pierre Toussaint, Mr. Raymond Kernezan, Dr. Samuel Pierre and a representative of the sponsors.

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The President renews his congratulations to the ten finalists in the third edition of the Science Olympiad (Table 1). This year’s first winner is a student at the Collège Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours du Cap-Haitien, Mr. Mesadieu Swantz-Faby (Fig. 2). The Chair Prize was awarded to a student of the Collège Frère Odile Jospeh in Les Cayes, Miss Lysius Jacquena, the girl with the highest score (Fig. 3). It should be noted that 40% of the finalists this year were girls. They were assigned to the following schools: College Regina Asumpta, College Freer Odile Joseph and Lycee National Doughty Buckmann.

This activity highlighted the youth’s enthusiasm for science. However, better supervision is necessary so that they can apply the theoretical concepts that have been learned. The chair is already inviting other schools to participate in the fourth edition of the Science Olympiad in 2023.

In addition to the Science Olympiad, the President organizes a cycle of conferences on STEM, gender equality and career guidance in coordination with partner schools via videoconferencing every month for NS3 and NS4 students. The Chair will continue to work tirelessly with the youth to promote science, which is the basis of development in any country.

Rose Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Professor at ISTEAH

pregnant UNESCO Chair ISTEAH Women and science for development

[email protected]

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