The Maestros is a group of friends and techies who love hanging around, but more importantly, love doing stuff together.
This drive of friendship lead The Maestros to enter and subsequently win the inaugural BlackBerry Application Development Competitions for School or “App-ti-tude” Competition in Jamaica. Representing deCarteret College high-school, The Maestros won not only secondary but also the overall best application in the competition with the app Potentials Education Suite.
Winning this great competition lead to the group being the recipients of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce awards for Technology, in Mandeville, Manchester, Jamaica.
The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Digicel, the Jamaica Observer and Research In Motion (makers of BlackBerry) decided that it would be mutually beneficial to all stakeholders to host its inaugural Blackberry Developers Competition to enhance technology in education. This competition was open to educational levels spanning primary through to tertiary. It was hard to envision that a ‘country’, secondary school, with its team members calling themselves The Maestros, would indeed master this competition, as the team name suggests. It turned out that The Maestros not only won the secondary division ‘out-programming’ the likes of Campion etc., but also ‘out mastered’ the other entrants in the Primary and Tertiary divisions, including institutions such as UWI, UTECH, and the technologically savvy NCU. Yes! They won The Best In Show, copping several important prizes.
Who though are The Maestros?
In May of 2011, in the heights of their CAPE examinations, the advertisement inviting entrants to enter this competition was being run. One DeCarteret College sixth former who subsequently became the team leader, was immediately interested, and made calls to his closest friends and classmates. After explaining the project, they bought into it. Their confidante and respected chemistry teacher, Mr. Astley Fletcher was contacted to supervise the team and he instantly agreed. The requirement was to develop an educational application for the Blackberry smartphone, with the aim being to utilize “technology to uplift our youth, stimulate enterprise and broaden the overall learning/education environment,” and to foster team spirit, among other things.
With CAPE examinations going on, the major task was to learn Java Programming as it was suggested that an application would be developed to teach basic music. The original deadline was August 6, 2011, but Dwayne Milford (the team leader), Darren Lindo, Leon-Neil Nash and Jason Baker took on this additional responsibility with alacrity, each with his own area of responsibility. With sleepless nights, supportive parents and being inter-connected with each others’ computer remotely, they were able to submit by the deadline. The day after submission, news came that the submission deadline was extended to November 18, to accommodate more entries. With a quest for perfection, they decided that they would improve on what they have done, and added Chemistry to the application, with the platform expandable to accommodate other subject areas.This was to their benefit.
After patenting and other logistics are worked out, Digicel has the option of using The Maestros’ application on their Blackberry Torch devices for one year as a value added service.
- Team Leader (Chief Programmer in Blackberry Competition)
- Past President of Innovators and Inventors Club of deCarteret College
- Former Graphics and Resource Manager for The Sixth Form Association
- 9 CSEC passes (including 7 ones, 6 distinctions)
- 5 Unit 1 CAPE passes
- Honor Roll (2006-2009) at deCarteret College
- Team member – JPS/ Scientific Research Council regional winning team and second place Island-wide 2009 (entry was a solar and wind powered concept car)
- 6th form Valedictorian of 2012
- Current Chemistry/Alternative Energy student at The University of the West Indies, Mona
- Co-Programmer (BlackBerry Competition)
- Past Vice-President of the Interact Club of deCarteret College
- Past Treasurer- Inventors and Innovators Club
- 8 CSEC passes
- 5 CAPE Unit 1 passes
- Honor Roll Student (2006-2010) at Belair School
- Past Fund Raising Coordinator of the Sixth Form Association of deCarteret College
- Dean of Discipline Award (2009) of Belair High School
- Citizenship Award (2010) of Belair High School
- Nominee for deCarteret College Principal’s Award
Currently a Business and Finance student at The University of The West Indies, Mona
- Audio Specialist and Resource Manager (BlackBerry Competition)
- Past Band Member at deCarteret College
- Past Chief Technician – Inventors and Innovators Club
- 8 CSEC passes
- The University of the West Indies Mona Pelicans Basketball Team Member
- Currently a Computer Engineering student at The University of West Indies, Mona
- Graphic Specialist (BlackBerry Competition)
- Past Head Boy of deCarteret College (2011 – 2012)
- Past PRO – Innovators and Inventors Club of deCarteret College
- Past PRO- Sixth Form Association of deCarteret College
- 5th form Valedictorian of 2010
- Third speaker of the reigning National School Debate championship team
- 9 CSEC Subjects (5 distinctions)
- 5 CAPE Subjects
Currently a Psychology/Law student at The University of The West Indies, Mona