Belize Project, 2008-2009


Robin Kratzer, Faculty, Education - Project will focus on development of learning centers for the schools at San Carlos and St. Paul's Bank that will provide resources for individualized study. Project will also train the teachers in effective instructional strategies, include data collection regarding use of technology and pedagogies, and conduct a workshop on First Aid and CPR for village residents.

Steven Smith, Faculty, Art - Project will restore inoperable pottery-making equipment at the Indian Church Women's Craft Center, provide training to reintroduce traditional Maya pottery making in order to improve product quality, research feasibility of producing clay water filtration devices for sale in local markets, and develop a network to expand the community's access to resources.

Mary Ann Studer, Faculty, Physical Science - Project will continue a fourth year of soil sampling and analysis with a focus on soil recovery from over-fertilization. Project will also advance the solar power initiative for San Carlos School, which resulted from a feasibility study conducted in 2007.


Cassandra Burkhart, Senior, Forensic Science - Project will deliver CPR, basic first aid, water safety, and life saving instruction in partnership with local communities. Funds will be raised to obtain first-aid and water safety equipment at strategic locations on the New River Lagoon. Data will be collected to determine future instructional needs.

Samantha Higdon, Junior, Accounting/Economics - Project will develop a model for McMaster scholar fund raising projects by creating a financial plan to raise funds for installation of solar power devices at the San Carlos Government School in Belize.

Austin Kleman, Sophomore, Molecular Biology - Project will extend the ongoing baseline water quality analysis of the New River Lagoon to the northern (downstream) areas of the lagoon and into the New River in an effort to monitor quality of water in populated areas.

Megan Sherman, Senior, Education - Project will develop a check out system for the new school library, secure more books for San Carlos School, and develop a workshop for teachers to provide them with literature and ideas to advance literacy efforts in the community.

Brooke Shinabarger, Junior, Business Administration - Project will develop a business plan with marketing strategies for the Indian Church Women's Craft Center.

Kyle Shong, Junior, History - Project will develop a list of non-governmental organizations in Belize that could help expand the McMaster School's network in the country.

Holly Stein, Sophomore, Education - Project will train teachers to identify developmental delays in children and survey community access to pediatric healthcare.

Kaitlin Studer, Senior, Biology - Project will collect and evaluate data pertaining to existence of insects that inhibit agricultural yield, develop relevant educational materials for local farmers, and reorganize insect collections at the Hillbank Research Station for more effective educational programming.

Cindy Toth, Senior, Education - Project will study current testing interventions in place at local schools and compile a resource book of best practices in educational intervention and implementation guidelines for distribution to teachers.