May 12, 2023
During the event ‘Engaging Science with and for Youth’, organised on 27-28 April 2023 in Banja Luka, an award ceremony was held for the three winning teams of the IDEATHON “Innovative ideas for a better quality of life” organised for secondary school students.
The Ideathon was organised by the University of Banja Luka (UNIBL) through the WBC-RRI.NET project in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP BiH), and with the support of the Ministry for Scientific and Technological Development, Higher Education and Information Society of Republic of Srpska (MNRVOID), as well as Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Srpska. The Ideathon also engaged socially responsible companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina who have provided valuable equipment for schools.
The three winners of the IDEATHON are:
- “Dispose of waste-help nature thrive; Recycle waste- keep nature alive”, Traffic and Electrical Engineering School Doboj
Team members: Kristina Pasalic, Milos Vidovic and Filip Radisavljevic
Mentor: Aleksandra Gojic
Award: Tablets provided by UNIBL through the MNRVOID grant, as well as full-costs covered for participation at STEM event provided by UNDP BiH. The school has received laptops provided by socially responsible company NELT Ltd Istocno Sarajevo.
- “Solar Park”, Civil Engineering School Banja Luka
Team members: Teodora Ratkovic and Milica Visic
Mentors: Jelena Pavlovic and Jelena Pejic
Award: Smart watches provided by UNIBL through the MNRVOID grant, as well as full-costs covered for participation at STEM event provided by UNDP BiH. The school has received laptops provided by NELT Ltd Istocno Sarajevo.
- “We are not alone”, Secondary School “28. Juni” Istocno Sarajevo
Team members: Dusan Peric, Nikola Orasanin and Marko Milidragovic
Mentor: Danijela Mandic
Award: ANC headphones provided by UNIBL through the MNRVOID grant, as well as full-costs covered for participation at STEM event provided by UNDP BiH. The school will have one classroom fully equipped by computer equipment provided by socially responsible company PAGE Ltd Istocno Sarajevo.
All three winning teams have shown that young generations have innovative and creative ideas on how to employ their STEM education in solving the challenges in their local (or even wider) community while at the same time embedding the principles of responsible research and innovation.
Read more about the core of each winning idea:
The first-place winning idea ‘Dispose of waste – help nature thrive; Recycle waste – keep nature alive’ envisages an increase in the recycled waste percentage in the city of Doboj between 30% to 40%, involving optimal usage of waste removal vehicles with the aim to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases and operating costs. The first measure that needs to be taken in order to reduce the described risk is waste sorting and recycling of groups of waste that can be recycled. Then, it is necessary to establish continuous cooperation between Waste Management Service ‘Progres’ Doboj and the other recycling companies. The second part of the solution is the optimisation of the work of communal services with the use of a system for smart waste removal. Equipping waste disposal containers with sensors would measure the filling and transmit data wirelessly to a centralized data processing system. The collected information would be processed with artificial intelligence algorithms, and would assign ad hoc routes to waste removal vehicles based on the occupancy of individual containers.
The basic concept of the second-place winner idea named ‘Solar park’ is energy efficiency, or rather, the use of renewable energy sources. A unique way to obtain electricity in park is solar PV panels which are embedded in each of the elements of the park. The solar park project was formed as a response to climate change. Bearing in mind that the park is certainly the answer to urban pollution, with this project the park becomes a demonstrative model of how to prevent and reduce pollution in cities.
The third-place idea “We are not alone” is based on an application for safe and easy reporting of violence, including peer violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination and other forms of violence. This app would allow anonymous reports from anywhere and at any time, while ensuring the security of users and their data. The report would be automatically forwarded to the competent authorities in the local community, and users would be given the option to seek help and advice in case of violence. The solution engages different local partners like the government, social work center, and police department.
This article was prepared by Milica Maric (UNIBL) and Andjela Pepic (UNIBL).