Cycling for a cause

Saturday saw Cayman Prep and High School’s annual cycling fundraiser, Cycloprep.

The event is extremely popular among students, and involves students being sponsored by community members to cycle varying distances of one mile, five miles or 12 miles, a walk of one mile, or a wheelchair ride of one mile. Routes started from as far as Frank Sound, finishing with a barbeque breakfast at Kaibo.

Prizes were won by the student who raised the most money, the student who collected the most sponsors and the class who raised the most money collectively.

This year’s Cycloprep included a different fundraising effort also. A silent auction took place during and after breakfast. The auction was appropriate for both the children and adults and took place during and after the post-cycle breakfast at Kaibo. It was themed Active in Cayman, and featured a variety of different activity prizes from companies such as Red Sail Sports, World Gym and Vigoro Nursery.

Cycloprep 2006 raised money for shade trees and playground equipment for CPHS’s Smith Road site, and towards interactive whiteboards for the Walkers Road site.

Mike McGrath, Vice-Principal of CPHS, offered some more information on these teaching tools. ‘Interactive whiteboards basically do everything a computer does. They consist of a large screen, similar to an ordinary whiteboard, on which a teacher can write with a Stylus, or a special pen, that acts as a mouse.

‘One of the features of the interactive whiteboard is it has text recognition, so if you wish, it can identify your handwriting and turn it into a font as it appears onscreen.’

The real advantage of these whiteboards is that they allow teachers access to many computer features, such as the Internet, while teaching. ‘If you are teaching a geography class, for example, and you want to access a map of South America, you just have to click on the Internet icon, bring up the website, and then you have a large map of South America on the whiteboard screen,’ said Mr. McGrath.

The school eventually hopes to purchase around five to six whiteboards in total. ‘We would like one for every department,’ said CPHS Principal Mrs. Jean Bahadur, who also expressed enthusiasm for the new acquirements.

‘This move will keep CPHS at the cutting edge of technological advancement in education, a position we have held since we launched Preptech in 1998.’

Preptech was an initiative with the aim of getting the entire school computerised, with networked computers in every classroom, and access to the Internet for all teachers and students.

Mr. McGrath doesn’t feel that the new whiteboards would stump the teachers. ‘To get the most out of the whiteboards, you would need training, so we would have someone come in and provide training for the teachers, as it is a different type of teaching,’ he acknowledged. He believes they are worth the investment. ‘I have seen them used in person and I was very impressed.’