Students design innovative solutions for world problems
Dubai - Around 100 students were awarded for their innovative, high impact solution projects to solve global problems.
By Saman Haziq
Published: Thu 4 Jul 2019, 7:40 PM
Last updated: Thu 4 Jul 2019, 11:22 PM
A mobile tele-surgery vehicle for virtual first-stage emergencies, security bracelets for women and weather-proof, portable shelters for the displaced, were three of the many students' projects that got recognitions at GEMS Innovation Awards 2019.
Around 100 students were awarded for their innovative, high impact solution projects to solve global problems and challenges at the event. Three of the winning teams, comprising 12 students from various GEMS schools, are now gearing up to present their projects at the Singularity University Global Summit in California, USA, taking place in August.
Titled Global Innovation Challenge, the competition invited students to submit prototypes using future-focused technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and nanotechnology, addressing different areas including disaster resilience, environment, energy, food, health, learning, security, governance, space, shelter and water.
The most innovative projects were shortlisted and, over the last two months, 35 teams were provided with mentorship from industry professionals, seed funding and entrepreneurship workshops. Teams then pitched their ideas to a panel of judges from Visa, Emirates airline, Microsoft, Injaz UAE and other organisations during a special 'Demo Days' event after which the winners were selected.
Aastha Das, a Grade 10 student of Gems New Millennium School, Al Khail, designed a self-protection ring for women in order to find a solution to the growing violence against women. She was assisted by her teammates Amrita and Priya. The wearable bracelet that has a button on it is named 'SHERO' (a combination of words 'she' and 'hero'). The woman can press the button if she senses danger or is attacked. This will give a small electric shock to the attacker that would give the woman time to escape. Das said: "It has a built-in low-voltage taser and GPS tracker that also sends SOS signals to guardians of the girls and the police control room."
The Global Innovation Challenge winners were split into junior and senior categories. Three winning teams in the senior category will present their projects at the Singularity University Global Summit.
Aryan Krishnan, Vraj Rajpura, Ahsan Nayaz and Mrudul Mamtani - Grade 10 and 12 students from Our Own English High School Sharjah (Boys branch) - said they are eager to present their project for the visually impaired people called Alivean' to international audience. "It is a visual aid for the visually impaired that uses real-time image and object classification to inform users what is in front of them via an ear piece. The idea came from a viral video showing a celebrity helping a blind man cross the road but what we focused in the video was not the celebrity but how could we use assistive technology to help the blind person get rid of dependency. These glasses help people to identify people around them, navigate the street alone and be self-reliant," explained Aryan.
Winning solutions in the Junior category included Moov (Cambridge International School - Dubai), a mobile tele-surgery vehicle complete with robotic arms, cameras and equipment for virtual first-stage emergencies; Foodie Mini Refrigerator (GEMS Millennium School - Sharjah), a solar-powered, self-regulating food refrigeration and storage unit intended to tackle food wastage and help construction workers; and Project Meraki (GEMS Modern Academy - Dubai), a weather-proof, light-weight, modular and portable shelter unit designed to help those displaced by natural disasters.
Dino Varkey, CEO of GEMS Education, said: "The GEMS Innovation Awards were launched specifically with the aim of developing and recognising a culture of innovation among our students. We want to encourage and enable them to build on compelling ideas that can transform our world by addressing and finding solutions to some of humanity's most pressing challenges, while also helping them to take their products and inventions to the next stage of development and eventually to market."