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Jan 27, 2017

A Different Kind of Open Day at Belize High School

The Belize High School opened its doors back in September of 2010, first operating out of the UWI Open Campus on Princess Margaret Drive, before permanently establishing itself on Mercy Lane in Belize City. The institution prides itself for providing a different approach to learning, which students and teachers put on display today at its annual Open Day as a way to attract students to its programs. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

It’s been in existence for seven years now, and while it is relatively young when compared to other educational institutions, the Belize High School on Mercy Lane in Belize City continues to yield what they define as well-rounded students in both academics and non-academics. The secondary school is the brainchild of some parents, who were actively involved in the education of their children and the institution has grown leaps and bounds over the years. Today, an Open Day allowed for students to get a firsthand experience on what the school has to offer.

 

Jamie Lee Usher

Jamie Lee Usher, Principal, Belize High School

“Part of our Open Day activities include activities from the school year so the students got real excited when we told them to save your best projects and put them together in a way that when the visiting students come, we can leave a little mark on them so that when it is time for them to consider high school, something from our open day might trigger them to say I like that. Of course it is still a regular high school, but part of the specialness of Open Day really highlights the non-academics, per say.”

 

But while the displays featured many non-academics, it really wasn’t. In the case of robotics—which was a big hit for the day—the innovation is actually the practical aspect of what students learn in programming, designing, math, science as well as English and critical thinking.

 

Rajiv Ramshandani

Rajiv Ramshandani, Student, Belize High School

“The micro bot…your imagination is your limit; you can do whatever you want with it. This M-bot is created for children to get a hands-on experience with robotics and programming. So the basic concept of programming this is to drag and drop. It is inspired by an animated tool called Scratch 2.0 and you can just drag and drop the commands that’s made by the programmers and you just change the variables to what you want.”

 

When you hear history, you immediately think of Belize’s past, particularly the Battle of St. George Caye and becoming an independent nation. But at BHS, that subject is an exciting component of its Humanities Department. Britney Gordon tells us more about her group’s display on the history of the Greeks?

 

Britney Gordon

Britney Gordon, Student, Humanities Department

“Our goal today was really to bring excitement into it and to make them really wowed by it. So we transformed the entire room into the City of Greece.  We presented about different religion that they have there; the clothing, their music. And it is really important to think about things like that—not only about Belize specifically with Social Studies, but just learning about the entire world in World History is amazing because you get to experience different cultures and learn about things you’ve never had before.”

 

Interestingly, grandparents are also getting involved. Dalila Norris and a group of ladies, for years now, have been trying to keep the lost art of crochet and embroidery alive. Every Tuesday in the afternoon, the women gather to teach the students the art. Their products are put to good use at health institutions in Belize and overseas.

 

Dalila Norris

Dalila Norris, Crochet Club

“The initial reason that we started was for the kids to give of themselves and I came up with the idea of crocheting caps for cancer patients. We had our first class and I taught boys and girls to crochet. And they loved the idea of creating something to give of themselves for people that needed them. You know when cancer patients lose their hair, they want to cover. So we did that and we have been doing it ever since.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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