Young Environmentalists’ Challenge 2021 (YEC2021) - Royal Institute of Colombo

Young Environmentalists’ Challenge 2021 (YEC2021)

Young Environmentalists’ Challenge 2021 (YEC2021)

An international competition for high-school students for encouraging the development of practical engineering solutions for local environmental issues


Deakin University, Australia in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Colombo is organizing an international competition for high-school students of year 10 and above for the second time. The objective of organizing this competition is to provide an exciting global opportunity for young Sri Lankan environmental champions to identify modern and creative solutions to environmental issues in Sri Lanka.

The first Young Environmentalists’ Challenge was held in 2020 with 15 teams from 8 Sri Lankan schools participating. It was a national competition that consisted of two rounds. The first year was a tremendous success and we are expanding the competition in 2021. This year, the final round of the competition is an ‘international’ round whereby the winning teams will compete against their global peers. 35 teams from 18 different schools across the country registered with the competition in the first round and 11 teams were selected by the Deakin University to progress to the second round. These 11 teams were from 7 different schools:  Colombo International School, Royal Institute International School – Nugegoda, Bishop’s College Colombo, S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, Ilma International Girls’ School, Royal International School, Kurunegala, and Lyceum International School – Nugegoda.

Teams selected for the second round worked in groups under the guidance and mentorship of a teacher and an academic from either Deakin University or Royal Institute of Colombo. The teams presented their final solution/model on 12th March 2021 at the RIC Auditorium. The best three teams which qualified for the final round are as follows:

  1. First place – Team ‘Mighty Chondria’ from Bishop’s College for the design of an ‘Activated Carbon Filter’ to reduce polluted emissions from Three-Wheelers.

2. Second place – Team ‘Germ Busters’from Royal International School, Kurunegala for the design of an ‘Auto Sanitizer’ for effective sterilizing of door handles.

3.Third place – Team ‘𝐷𝑆3’ from Royal Institute International School, Nugegoda for the design of a ‘Hybridized Biogas-Compost Chamber’ for household waste management.

The three teams were awarded with cash prizes totaling AUD $1400 and certificates. Further, they will be progressing to the international round which will be taking place in April/May 2021.

In addition to that, the following were awarded to  the best presenting team and the most creative solution presented in the competition:

  • Award for the ‘Best Presenting Team’ – Team ‘Compost Concocter’ from Ilma International Girls School.
  • Award for the ‘Most Creative Environmental Friendly Solution’ – Team “Green Genesis” from Royal Institute International School, Nugegoda

Every team member registered with the competition received a certificate of participation from Deakin University and RIC. In addition, the teams selected for the 2nd round received Certificates of Commendation.