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Aug 7, 2006

Dangriga ceremony marks Petters Institute graduation

Story PictureIt’s not every day that Belizean students are tutored by a world class scientist, so when the summer students of Doctor Arlie Petters have his name on their certificates they better be good. On Friday News Five’s Alyssa Noble travelled to Dangriga for graduation.

Alyssa Noble, Reporting
This summer, the Petters Research Institute in Dangriga hosted nineteen high school students from Belize and abroad for four weeks of intensive math and science courses.

Leah Waight, Student, P.R.I. Summer Programme
?My project is the exponential function and the Belize growth population. It deals with past data from 1980 to 2005, and I put that data into the formula and I got the new population estimate for the next ten years.?

And for the past three weeks, fifteen officer cadets from the B.D.F. have also been participating in this type of rigorous training. But while, classes ended on Friday with a graduation ceremony, preparation for the ACT exam will continue.

Felicia Mohabir, Officer Cadet
?We are pretty confident going in to the exam now, although we have a couple more weeks of practice. But yes, we are pretty confident now. That experience has been very rewarding in the sense that we are not seeing the perfect score yet, because practice has to continue over the next two months for the exam. Still we have gained a lot of knowledge and skill. What we have to work on is just speed now, in terms of practicing and getting everything down to the second. The experience, I haven?t exactly learned to love math as yet, and that was one of the aims. But in two months, we have time to work at that as a group, cadet groups.?

B.D.F. commander Lloyd Gillett believes the educational enrichment will be beneficial to the country.

Brigadier General, Lloyd Gillett, Commander, B.D.F.
?Well I would like to see the B.D.F. attract the future scientists, the future engineers, and the future leaders of this country. Because when you combine the technical training with the leadership skills, you get in the military, I think we?ll be heading in the right direction.?

Dr. Arlie Petters, President, Petters Research Institute
?I must say, I am extremely proud of how the officer cadets did. They actually worked through five hundred mathematics and science problems over the past three weeks. I think that?s a testament to the resiliency and discipline of our new generation coming up.?

According to Dr. Arlie Petters, Belizean born physicist and president of the Petters Research Institute, this initiative is just the beginning…

Arlie Petters
?I think it?s our time to have a new generation of Belizean analytical thinkers. So what we hope is that our institute partnering with several agencies and ministries in our country can help to do this for our children.?

Leah Waight
?If you try your best, and you apply yourself to any concept, you will be able to get it.?

And that?s the attitude the Petters Research Institute is hoping to multiply in Belizeans across the country.

Alyssa Noble Reporting for News Five.

Dr. Petters has been a professor of mathematics and physics at Duke University, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has won a number of prestigious awards. He immigrated to the United States from Dangriga as a child in 1979.PER

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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