5 schools across the country participated in this year’s Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. The schools presented 12 projects and they were all on display in the King’s Room at the Princess Hotel. To some, this event might look like just another exhibit – another educational activity for students. But coordinator Marlin Chin says that’s not so, these innovations can contribute to our survival.

Marlin Chin - Communication Manager, Sagicor

"The more exciting part of this year's challenge would be the recognition in terms of the prize structure. We've increased in terms of the types of prizes, we've gone very much digital age; so it’s a lot of digital type prizes but more importantly we are recognising entrepreneurship as one of the prizes. You would have heard the minister just quoted and appreciated that we are recognising entrepreneurship in these programmes. It also reinforced the need for the call to the Chambre of Commerce and its members to fund some of these projects and bring them to fruition. It's really through an investment in our youth and ensuring that our youth ensures our future and that would be through the discipline of stem; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, ensuring as we highlighted this morning the need for our own sustainable future. Impacts like climate change are having a negative impact on our ability to survive. And so Sagicor saw it fit to invest in a programme like the Sagicor visionary challenge."

Jennessa Sierra - Papaya Power, San Pedro High School

"Basically what we noticed as a group in our community is that people consume coffee way too much. They don't think about the bad health benefits that it gives you, it doesn't give you any health benefits at all. So what we did as a group is we created a papaya leaf tea which will replace this coffee and give you numerous health benefits at a cheaper cost. The study shows that the papaya leaf has enzymes such as papain which would boost your immunity and aid your digestion. It also has abundance of vitamin C and well as vitamin A that will aid your sight."

Raquel Soler - Bolster App, SCA

"Bolster App is a way for self-commuters a nightmare, you know when you are at the bus station and you're always jammed and packed and you are waiting to see if this bus will come or not. Well with Bolster app you will be able to see if seats are available, not available, track the location of the bus. Differentiate the prices between the bus, the quality of the bus and you'll be able to generate a ticket, secure a seat for yourself within advanced time."

But can these great ideas expand beyond the King’s room and become a reality? Minister of Education Patrick Faber said that is the challenge and that they need support from the business community.

Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education

"After challenges like this, they're great ideas but it’s difficult for them actually become reality. And even with the tremendous advances that we've made in terms of those entities that provide that kind of entrepreneur support now. We don't see the kind of successes but I believe that it is a work in progress, I believe we've managed to make tremendous progress thus far and of course our government continues to give that kind of support and hopefully one day it can materialize into the kind of productive businesses; not only businesses it’s also a contribution that could be made to Belize's development."

And the 1st place winners of the challenge is Belize High School. Their project is called the “Value of Nuisance” and that nuisance is Sargassum. These students came up with ways to make bi-products from sargassum including shakes and body scrubs. They will be moving on to the regional competition in July.

2nd place went to San Pedro High School’s Papaya Power and St. Catherine’s Academy walked away with 3rd place. Their project was called “Bolster App” an app that can make commuting a lot less stressful.

Channel 7