An international competition for high-school students, encouraging the development of practical engineering solutions for local environmental issues
Deakin University, Australia in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Colombo organized an international competition for high-school students of year 10 and above for the second year running. The objective of organizing this competition was to provide an exciting global opportunity for young Sri Lankan environmental champions to identify modern and creative solutions to environmental issues in Sri Lanka.
Commencement of the Young Environmentalists’ Challenge (YEC) 2021
The first Young Environmentalists’ Challenge (YEC) was held in 2020 with 15 teams from eight Sri Lankan schools participating. It was a national competition that consisted of two rounds. The first year was such a success that we decided to expand the competition in 2021. This year, the competition comprised of three rounds out of which the final round was an ‘international’ round where the winning teams from Sri Lanka competed against their global peers. Here are some insights from the YEC 2021:
Round 1: 35 teams from 18 different schools across the country registered with the competition.
Round 2: 11 teams from 7 different schools were selected to progress to this round. Namely, the schools competed in the second round were 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 Deakin University or the Royal Institute of Colombo. The teams presented their final solution/model on 12th March 2021 at the RIC Auditorium.
Winners of Round 2!
The best three teams selected by the judging panel of Deakin University, Australia, were as follows:
- First place – Team ‘Mighty Chondria’ from Bishop’s College for the design of an ‘Activated Carbon Filter’ to reduce polluted emissions from Three-Wheelers.
- Second place – Team ‘Germ Busters’ from Royal International School, Kurunegala for the design of an ‘Auto Sanitizer’ for effective sterilizing of door handles.
- Third place – Team ‘𝐷𝑆3’ from Royal Institute International School, Nugegoda for the design of a ‘Hybridized Biogas-Compost Chamber’ for household waste management.
In addition, the following awards were received for 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 Environmentally Friendly Solution’ – Team ‘Green Genesis’ from Royal Institute International School, Nugegoda
Every team member registered with the competition received a certificate of participation from the Deakin University and RIC. Teams selected for round 2 received a Certificate of Commendation.
Participants of the International Round
These best three teams were awarded with cash prizes totaling AUD $1400 and certificates. They progressed to the International round which was held virtually on 29th April 2021.
In the third-international round, the best three SL teams competed with the following best three Vietnamese teams.
- Team Weco – Interactive mobile App for Waste Management
- Team Faith & Hope – Developing a CO2 capturing device
- Team Sleepaholic – Developing an Air condenser to collect water
International University – Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City was the organizer of the competition in Vietnam. The competition title at Vietnam was ‘Green Planet Protection Initiative Contest – SAVING EARTH & ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY (SEED)’.
Proud winners of the Deakin Young Environmentalists’ Challenge 2021
In the international round, each group presented their environmental solution, generalizing its use in the world not limiting the application to a specific country. There was an interactive ‘Question and Reflection’ session after every presentation. At the end of the presentations, the judging panel from Deakin University selected the best three teams to be awarded as the winners of this international competition. The best three teams are as follows:
Winner: Team ‘Mighty Chondria’ from Bishop’s College
First Runners up: Team ‘Sleepaholic’ from Vietnam
Second Runners up: Team ‘𝐷𝑆3’ from Royal Institute International School, Nugegoda
The winning teams were awarded with cash prizes totaling AUD $1500, certificates, and gifts. The objective in organizing this competition was to encourage our young kids to come up with their creative solutions to address world environmental issues. As the pioneer in higher education in Sri Lanka, the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC) is continually serving the nation with passionate students with perfect attitudes. RIC will continue to organize such competitions in the upcoming years to further improve the innovative thinking of our students.