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Nov 28, 2016

Marleni Brings Back Top Prize in STEM Mediathon Challenge

“So You Want to Be “STEM-tastic!” It’s my idea for introducing primary schoolers to Caribbean heroes in the STEM subjects. It won top prize in the first-ever Compete Caribbean mediathon in Barbados held last week. Thirty Caribbean media professionals over a day and a half were challenged to come up with an idea using communication and media systems to help promote the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I along with a Belizean colleague and two professionals from the Bahamas came with the winning concept, which I sat down earlier in our studio to discuss.


Marleni Cuellar

Marleni Cuellar, First Place, Compete Caribbean Mediathon

“You’d think because we were broadcast journalists we would have done something with video or T.V. programming, which is what I’m more comfortable planning; but we decided to go with a merger of traditional media and new media, which is a book featuring Caribbean heroes, we are calling them – persons who have worked in the science field or the math field and those who have excelled, and using them in a storybook. The storybook would then have an augmented reality feature, which means you use your phone, your tablet, to hover over the image and the video comes to life. And that way we showcase Caribbean persons who have excelled in STEM careers and still get the young people interested in those possible careers.  I would love to see a book like this in Belize. I think it is far past the time that we are able to highlight, not just local heroes, Belizean heroes, but also regional heroes, and show our children what can be done using the same reality that they see single day here.”


My thanks to Channel Seven colleague Courtney Weatherburne and our friends from the Bahamas. Our team has a lot of work left to do because Compete Caribbean, funded through the Inter-American Development Bank, has given a grant and will continue working with the winning team to develop the book series.  As first place winners, we are entered into an overseas science and innovation event where we will be able to advance our proposal.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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