The third Caribbean Youth Science Forum was held from August 01st to 08th 2004 at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Through the Forum, NIHERST aims to leave an indelible mark on the lives of the young participants by encouraging the pursuit of careers in Science and Technology (S&T), as well as providing a fertile environment in which they can discuss important scientific issues and interact with their peers, as well as with regional and international scientists. One student commented that "the forum allowed for the exploration of character, ...exploration of scientific opportunities and helped to develop new friendships, interests, creativity as well as appreciation for science and technology", a statement which encapsulates some the forum's objectives.
In 2004, over one hundred (100) students from Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago all came together in this wonderful melange of lectures, project presentations, field trips and social activities.
Mr. Mark Loquan, President of YARA Trinidad Limited opened the week's activities with a keynote address titled "Technology - A Ball You Have To Play", which addressed the need for technology in today's world. Mr. Loquan highlighted the fact that technology is "a strategic tool that can...accelerate the acquisition of skills or knowledge" and that it permeates all aspects of life. Professor Dyer Narinesingh, Dean of the UWI Faculty of Science and Agriculture and the Chairman of the National Science Centre Advisory Committee, formally declared the forum open, emphasising to the young persons present, the importance of the one week journey on which they were about to embark.
From business leaders to animators to immunologists, a wide spectrum of esteemed lecturers and experts shared their knowledge with the young participants. Professor Kenneth Ramchand delivered the first lecture session, exploring the issue of "Working and Living a Career". He examined the various issues that had to be considered before one decides along which career path to tread. Mr. Langston Roach, owner and manager of Lanher Products, offered a business perspective in his lecture "How does the Study of Science equip you to make a contribution to Business". He emphasised to students that "the economic development of the Caribbean...is dependent on the adaptation and utilisation of existing and emerging scientific knowledge and technologies...to spawn industries and businesses that add value and create employment".
On Wednesday 04th August, Ms. Camille Grant of the Forensic Laboratory aroused the audience's curiosity about Forensic Science with an absorbing lecture entitled "Hello, who have we here?" Mrs. Camille Selvon Abraham held both an entertaining and engaging session on Computer Creativity and Animation, while Mr. Kelman Gomez Adams delivered a very thought provoking lecture/discussion titled, "Blood Donation: What? What For? and How?" Dr. Nigel Austin spoke on the very topical issue of genetically modified foods. Two visiting students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) conducted an informative session on Robotics. Representatives of the Medical Research Foundation, Mrs. Avion Jones and Mr. Arnim Hargreaves spoke on a subject of widespread interest, "Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and You", giving a very graphic presentation on the causes and effects of these infections.