Belize STEM Education Project

A project of the M25:40 project

Project Objectives

  • Honor Paul Witaker's love for Belize, and the education of it's people.
  • Build a sustainable program for STEM promotion and education
  • Identify specific STEM related topics and projects that would benefit Belize youth, education, and career development
  • Provide a program to allow and promote MVNU (and other) faculty to participate in Belize STEM projects
  • Provide and promote STEM workshops for teachers and administrators, summer enrichment programs for youth, and oppurtunities for STEM related collaborations
  • Create meaningful opportunities for Belizean youth to pursue STEM related careers


  1. Given your STEM educational objectives, is there any way we can partner with you to assist you in achieving them, and in which specific areas?
  2. If you could connect with a university in the US, what would that that relationship look like?

Pre-July Trip Objectives

  • Identify persons to have preliminary meetings with. ( Dwight and Jim)
    • At the University of Belize
    • At the Ministry of Education
    • Other government officials (Ministry of Information Technology)
    • Appropriate private citizens (business, medical, science people)
    • Other school personal (Cayo district, high schools, Sacred Heart)
  • Get copies of any current MOU's similar in nature to thie project. ( Dwight)
  • Contact Dr. Petters ( Jim)
  • Develop a draft or sketch MOU ( Jim, Joe, Dick, Brad, Bob, Doug, Dave, Dean)
  • Produce letter of intention, with list of objectives, from MVNU President, to UB president ( Dick, Jim, and Joe)
  • Produce three dates for meeting for Dwight ( Jim)
  • Purchase tickets ( Jim and Joe)
  • Get rooms at Kindred Spirits ( Dwight)

July Trip Objectives

  • Clearly understand the curricular needs of Belizeare in the STEM area
  • Determine what specifically are the value adds for Belize
  • Begin to establish parameters what will lead to a sustainable program
  • Meet with ollaborative Partners
    • University of Belize
    • Ministry of Education
    • Ministry of Information Technology
    • Other people
    • Other school personnel
  • Identify possible locations for program home
  • Need letter of intention, from MVNU President, to UB President

Advice from Dr. Arlie Petters


From Phone call, May, 2013.

  1. The the "Paul Whitaker STEM institute" have valid legal standing, but in Belize (as an NGO) and the US (as a 501c3).
  2. He was very insistent that neither the Belize government, nor UB have any "ownership" or exclusive relationship with the program. He fear politics could be a problem for sustainability if this is the case.
  3. He also believes we should reach out to the others universities and colleges.
  4. His research institute is in Dangriga. It is small and he wants it to stay that way (ruling a any more direct relationship)
  5. To professors (colleagues) from the City College of NYC will be there when we are, doing a bio-diversity project. He wants us to meet them

Current Known Parameters & Ideas

  • Part of M25:40 University Program
  • Funding available from the Paul Whitaker Memorial Endowment
  • Desire is to honor Paul's love for Belize and education by providing meaningful STEM related education opportunities in Belize
  • The solution should transcend denominational boundaries, but have a focus on Nazarene High School Students
  • Collaboration with University of Belize and/or Sacred Heart College on creating a STEM training and experience
  • Possible Concept: Center for STEM Education
    • In Belmopan, in collaboration with University of Belize
    • A facility with several rooms for visiting scholars/educators
    • Conference Room, lounge, reading room
    • Kitchen
    • Visiting faculty could give lectures at UB, do summer enrichment camps, teach UB classes.
  • Discover our Focus
    • Summer Enrichment Programs for HS students in STEM
    • Faculty Development Programs for university professors and HS teachers
    • Semester Abroad Programs
    • Visiting Professor Program (Sabbatical)
    • Summer professional development for HS teachers of STEM courses
    • IT Workshops for HS teachers and administrators
    • Work in the development of BS level programs in STEM areas
    • Online education - articulation, especially in the area of teacher education
  • Who do we collaborate with in the development of a MOU?
    • Ministry of Education - Chief Education Officer
    • UB - Provost and Board
  • Should involve High School and college students
  • Must be sustainable beyond initial personnel and funding
  • Could involve collaborative university courses involving both Belizean and MVNU student and faculty
  • Could involve J-term and semester abroad options, with MVNU faculty teaching courses at UB with blended student population
  • Could involve collaborative courses with video links between universities
  • Could involve Belizean student taking MVNU online courses, particularly in the grad education area
  • Will need memorandum of understanding with each entity we work with.
  • We should work on building lasting relationships for collaboration
  • Paramedic Program - Mobile Health Care Clinic - Scholarships for Belizeans to serve on clinic
  • How to best represent Chris in this context


  1. Petters Research Institute
  2. Prime Minister's Council of Science Advisers Commissioned
  3. Professor Arlie O. Petters, Duke University Math Professor

Meeting Notes

  1. April 30 meeting

Planned trip

  • Depart July 7
  • Return July 14 (first group)
  • Return July 19 (second group, if going to Guatemala)



-- JimSkon - 2013-04-28

Topic revision: r10 - 2013-06-17 - JimSkon
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