Students taking part in the 2018 Dart Scholar program visited waste management and renewable energy facilities in Ontario, Canada, this summer.

The students – Cayman Prep and High School’s Ethan Slocock and Christian Dyer, Cayman International School’s Cristin Jackson, Layman E. Scott Senior High School’s Thomas Sevik Jr., St. Ignatius Catholic School’s Diandra Whittaker and Jade Wilkinson – were taking part in this year’s Summer Enrichment trip.

During the trip, they learned about sustainable energy, landfill redevelopment and mitigation, and waste-to-energy technologies firsthand from industry experts, Dart organizers said.

The students learned about innovative solutions to climate change and the growing human demand for energy, such as the Durham-York Energy Centre where landfill-bound waste is converted to electrical energy that powers more than 10,000 homes, according to a press release, which added that the facility is similar to the DECCO Consortium’s proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management System facility slated for development on Grand Cayman.

Remediated landfill

The six students also visited the closed and remediated Keele Valley Landfill. Once ranked as the third largest landfill in North America, the site now has a second life as a significant green space and a public park. “Students had an opportunity to learn about landfill mitigation and apply those lessons to the context of Cayman Islands,” the release stated.

Martin Edelenbos, DECCO’s lead in the ISWMS project, served as one of the two chaperones. Mr. Edelenbos, who previously managed Keele Valley Landfill, said, “It was a pleasure to introduce the Dart Scholars to the various facilities, including a recently commissioned waste-to-energy plant, a closed landfill and a material recovery facility, especially since waste management is currently so topical in the Cayman Islands.”

For Glenda McTaggart, manager of education programs at Dart Enterprises, the Summer Enrichment trip is an annual highlight. Since launching the program in 2012, she has organized trips to the Brown and Stanford SuperCamp in the U.S.; CERN in Geneva, Switzerland (European Organization for Nuclear Research); Dart Neuroscience in the U.S., and the Oxford Royale Academy Summer School.

Dart Scholar Ethan Slocock looks inside the Durham-York Energy Centre incinerator.

“The summer enrichment trip is designed to be STEM in action, and to give our scholars an interesting and engaging learning experience outside of the classroom,” said Mrs. McTaggart.

She added, “I hope our scholars are able to apply this learning to Cayman’s environmental challenges.”

More exploring

The trip also included visits to the Ontario Science Centre and Royal Ontario Museum, Niagara Falls, Toronto Island and Wonderland, Canada’s largest amusement park.

The group activities and travel offered an opportunity to explore different cultures and develop friendships with their fellow scholars, the release continued.

“Experiencing downtown Toronto was something quite special, coming from such a small island,” said participant Ethan Slocock.

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