High School Students Offered Innovative Solutions to Social and Environmental Issues

19.06.2024

The solution by the Digital Minds team received the highest rating at yesterday’s Demo Day for the hackathon “Digital Solution for a Social or Environmental Problem in the Community”.

The hackathon, organized by IEC Tehnopolis, lasted 24 hours and was aimed at high school students who worked with mentors to create innovative solutions for the given problems. Through this process, students learned how to identify specific social or environmental issues, devise creative and sustainable solutions, make presentations, and present their solutions to a panel of experts. This hands-on experience and interaction with mentors and other teams provided them with valuable insights that will help them better understand the world around them and contribute to their community in a meaningful way.

Four teams from Niksic and one from Pljevlja participated in the Demo Day.

The winning team, Digital Minds, consisted of students from the Nikšić Gymnasium. Their application, Volunteer CoSphere, connects volunteers with larger organizations, facilitating the discovery and registration for volunteer activities throughout the community. In this way, they address both social and environmental issues. “It was challenging and demanding to develop a solution in such a short time, but we managed to achieve it. We had a lot of fun and carry great memories from the competition. We especially thank Tehnopolis for allowing us to participate in such an event,” said the team.

The second-place team, Penta Electro, from the Nikšić Vocational School, focused on solving environmental pollution and reducing illegal dumping. They offered an application called Plastic Free, which operates on a simple principle: you send a photo and location of illegally disposed waste, the local administration verifies it and proceeds to remove it. Each report earns you points that can be converted into discounts at certain environmentally sustainable stores.

The third-place team, 404 from the Nikšić Vocational School, offered a solution to reduce poverty. Their application, Heartcore, allows users to collect points through daily physical activities, which are then transformed into donations for the most vulnerable segments of society.

Green Creators from the Nikšić Economic and Hospitality High School intend to help reforest areas of the municipality destroyed by fires. They proposed a website where all interested parties can get information about reforestation actions and thus contribute to the protection of our environment.

The team from the Pljevlja Vocational School, Tech 4 Planet, presented a solution to reduce air pollution in their city. They proposed the establishment of tire recycling centers and using recycled tires in asphalt mixtures, an innovative way to reduce pollution and simultaneously improve asphalt quality.

The top three teams were awarded significant monetary prizes: 1200 EUR for first place, 800 EUR for second place, and 500 EUR for third place.

All five teams put in energy and creativity to offer the best solutions and we believe they carry strong impressions from our hackathon. Given their effort and dedication, we decided to award the remaining two teams with monetary prizes of 250 EUR each.

The Municipality of Niksic provided financial support for the first two places.

We realized the hackathon as part of the project “Creating an Enabling Business Environment for Youth Employment in the Cross-Border Area of the Republic of Serbia and Montenegro – BEYOND,” co-financed by the European Union under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) through the Serbia-Montenegro Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020. IEC Tehnopolis implements the project with the Regional Development Agency Zlatibor and the Chamber of Commerce of Montenegro.

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