Imagine a world powered by footsteps and natural phenomena, where kinetic energy generated from exercising at the gym could be transformed into and stored as electrical energy – and the aurora borealis (better known as the Northern Lights) and plants coated with luciferin could become the main sources of vibrant street light, making street lamps obsolete.
These are scenarios that could potentially materialise by 2050 as means to future-proof our cities in the face of an energy crisis and climate change. Today, at Shell Make the Future Singapore, 15 student teams from secondary schools across Singapore presented their scenarios and visions of future cities, at the finals of The Bright Ideas Challenge Singapore.
Team Changemakers, comprising five students from Greenview Secondary School, emerged as champions after a tough battle amongst Singapore’s brightest young minds in innovation. A Shell initiative organised by the Science Centre Singapore and supported by the Ministry of Education, The Bright Ideas Challenge Singapore garnered a total of 70 entries contributed by over 300 students from 34 secondary schools.
The inter-school competition challenged students to imagine how cities will look like in 2050, identify key energy challenges in the future, and articulate their visions by presenting innovative solutions that would help make future cities a vibrant, healthy and clean place to live in.
“All of us are very happy right now, as we truly did not expect to win the first prize. It has been a tough fight against other schools’ teams as their ideas were equally strong. Through The Bright Ideas Challenge Singapore, we have learned to challenge ourselves and think out of the box as a team, and have gained confidence in public speaking and presentations. We want to thank all our teachers and fellow students, as well as our family who supported us throughout this whole journey. We really appreciate their help and guidance,” said Lindero Dianthe Marithe Lumagui, a member of Team Changemakers.
The team’s project focused on solving future problems caused by impending overpopulation, which would increase the production of food waste, consumption of electricity and hence, the depletion of fossil fuels. Team Changemakers aimed to solve these arising challenges by leveraging food waste through an anaerobic digester, harvesting methane to produce electricity.
Jason Leow, General Manager, External Relations, Shell Singapore, said: “Shell has an enduring tradition of innovation and collaboration, alongside supporting an entrepreneurial spirit in youths. By harnessing sparks of human ingenuity, innovation and technology, we hope to drive change and unlock better, cleaner energy for the years ahead. We are extremely proud and heartened to find so many bright young minds and creative ideas that seek to achieve that very ambition of creating a sustainable energy future. Congratulations, Team Changemakers!”
The finals held today was graced by Minister of Education (Schools), Ng Chee Meng, as the guest-of-honour. The judging panel, made up of five representatives from the Science Centre Singapore, Energy Market Authority, and Shell evaluated the student teams based on the following criteria: 1) efficacy towards solving the energy challenge; 2) quality and creativity of the solution; 3) innovativeness and feasilibity of solution; 4) robustness of research; 5) overall presentation of the solution; and 6) effective collaboration and project management. To determine the eventual winning team, judging was extended to the public, where visitors at Make the Future Singapore voted for their favourite ideas using the same criteria above. Evaluations from both the panel judges and the public carried the same weightage.
“I’m excited to see our students thinking out of the box, having fun. Educationally, these platforms are important to foster a culture of creative thinking, and inspire our students to venture beyond the classroom for solutions to real world problems. To the student participants, I hope you have gained new knowledge and a deeper understanding of the energy challenges facing us today. To our teachers, thank you for helping to make our students’ learning process interesting and motivating,” said Minister Ng.
Team Changemakers walked away with a $5,000 prize package for their alma mater, Greenview Secondary School, to spend on improving existing STEM offerings. In addition, the team will embark on a fully-funded trip to Make the Future London come May 25 – 28, 2017. The first and second runner-ups took home a $3,000 and $1,500 prize package respectively, while the remaining 12 merit winning teams received a $300 prize package each.
For more details of The Bright Ideas Challenge Singapore, please visit www.shell.com.sg/brightideaschallenge.
Final results of The Bright Ideas Challenge Singapore:
- 1st Prize: Changemakers, Greenview Secondary School
Idea: Leveraging food waste for energy through an anaerobic digester, activated at an energy treatment facility
- 2nd Prize: 2DL’16, St. Patrick’s School
Idea: Layering roads and floors with piezo mateial as a means of renewable energy, by converting the pressure generated from road transport into electrical energy – which can be used for lighting up the lamp posts on the streets at night
- 3rd Prize: The Undefeated, Chong Boon Secondary School
Idea: Harvesting heat energy to produce electricity by applying a thermoelectric effect, utilising Peltier tiles
List of 12 merit winners:
- Polaris, Bedok North Secondary School
Idea: Addressing inconsistencies with energy supply against the pressures of globalisation, by pairing decentralised energy storage solutions (e.g. lithium-ion battery packs) with a small grid management system to store energy generated from alternative sources, such as solar energy.
- HKSS Team 2, Hong Kah Secondary School
Idea: Harvesting alternative energy from natural phenomenon such as aurora borealis through coronal mass ejection.
- Corn Artist, Marsiling Secondary School
Idea: Converting kinetic energy, generated from exercising on gym equipment, into electrical energy.
- Energy Engineers, East View Secondary School
Idea: Reducing food wastages and generation of harmful heavy metal waste, using energy generated from the process of vermicomposting.
- The Pentagon, Broadrick Secondary School
Idea: Producing energy through rainwater collected from PVC pipes in high-rise buildings.
- Team United, Broadrick Secondary School
Idea: Converting kinetic energy generated from walking into electrical energy via piezoelectric transducers in the insoles of shoes.
- CT1, Clementi Town Secondary School
Idea: Leveraging light and heat energy to minimise overheating and maximise output of electricity generated by solar panels.
- HydroNymaz, Punggol Secondary School
Idea: Developing a HDB Water Recycling Kit to collect water from domestic appliances and channel them to a common water and recycling point.
- Jurongville BKJ, Jurongville Secondary School
Idea: Creating a car driven by water from evaporation, based on the concept of a Moisture Mill.
- Ping Yi Red, Ping Yi Secondary School
Idea: Designing a turbine blade that captures wind at a greater range and can be built within a small area.
- Ping Yi Yellow, Ping Yi Secondary School
Idea: Building solar and wind plants to harvest solar and wind energy at coastal areas in Singapore.
- Light Planters, Nanyang Girls’ High School
Idea: Coating trees and plants with luciferin, so that they can emit light and eventually replace street lamps as the core light source.