EU-CONEXUS International School Competition THINK SMART, CREATE GREEN
The final of the EU-CONEXUS ‘Think Smart, Create Green’ International School Contest took place at the end of April, in the celebration of the international final phase of the contest, where representative schools from 5 different countries (Spain, Lithuania, Croatia, Greece and Romania) presented their projects about Urban Sustainability to the international jury composed by members of all the partner universities and one stakeholder.
For the students it has been very stimulating to be able to participate in a university activity, and show their potential, and that in the future, the university will be able to develop and direct. In this contest they have been able to present their ideas, work as a team, learn about urban sustainability and, above all, they defend their ideas to contribute to a real change in the development of their region.
“Our project aimed to raise an alarm among the people, not only citizens or tourists of Mangalia, but people everywhere because the problems are similar in any city. Many other people have certainly thought about the solutions we found for the city of Mangalia, but they probably did not have the opportunity to present their ideas. Therefore, it is our duty to promote these solutions so that as many people as possible can take action. The message I want to transmit to you people from around the world, is that you have to think about the environment and how our actions affect it, think about how we can improve our lifestyle, to coexist peacefully with the nature. Remember, be a solution to Earth’s problems, not the cause of them, and most importantly, “Think Smart, Create Green”, said the students from Grigore Moisil college, the winners in 13-14 category.
In addition, after the difficult school year caused by the global pandemic crisis, the fact of being able to participate in a competition of this reach and impact, about an important global topic, cheered everyone up and gave a sense of connecting with others, even if working remotely.
“Before participating in this project, we had a rough idea about what environmental problems a coastal area could face, but during the implementation we learned in detail about the already-known ones and discovered new ones. We also learned about Mangalia in general. In addition, we heard about interesting ideas about sustainable development in other coastal cities around the continent by listening to the other presentations” completed the students from Grigore Moisil college, the winners in 13-14 category.
As a final result, high-level projects truly impressed the jury. With ideas as innovative as creating a website with their own code, creating a smart bin, among other projects of academic excellence, it was a difficult task to choose only 2 winners!
Among the winning projects, the two were awarded the first prize: from Romania, Colegiul National ‘Gregore Moisil’ with a poster on ‘Strategies for Sustainable development in Mangalia’ in the 13-14 category and from Croatia with its storyboard of ‘Quality of life on the coast – Zadar waterfront and sustainable development’ in the 14-15 category. The winning groups will receive sustainable mobility awards: bicycles and electric scooters.
“The contest seemed to me a challenge for the teacher and the students alike. As we were looking for information about the city we chose as the theme of the project, we found out that coastal areas around the world are affected by pollution to greater or lesser degree. The students became aware of these issues, which will prove useful in their upbringing as responsible adults” the teacher Ionescu Camelia from the winning team.
All project participants received certificates and a few words of gratitude from Jean Marc Ogier ‘Thank you for all your participation, I hope you enjoyed the contest and I hope that, in the future, when you reach higher education, you could become students of EU -CONEXUS … ‘
For the second category, 14-15 years, Romania received second place in the international stage of the competition. Their project was made on the city Techirgiol where they analysed its unique situation and found the proper solutions for it, also talking to the manager of the sanatorium that is found there and a Hydraulic Engineer. They conclusions were that two main things are there to be done: integration of the breakwaters on the coast and the founding of the sweet water springs that affect the lake’s salinity.
“It was one of the greatest achievements within any scholar contest I had participated in, not only due to my team’s great result, but also because this project has helped me improve my leader and punctuality skills. In addition, I managed to put my video editing skills into action” said Mihnea Gusita.
“I would definitely encourage as many people as I can, the age doesn’t matter! The sad truth is that our planet suffers, but we can change that! The more we start making a difference, the faster our home becomes an astonishing paradise!” said Feraru Rares.
“To contribute to a greener and more sustainable future of my city/region/country, I will try to keep the enviroment clean, to reduce pollution and to make the others aware of the problems that our planet is confronting. If more and more people are going to enjoy helping the envionment, I think the change for the better will start soon” said Iacobescu Ruxandra.
“I would encourage my friends to participate because by doing this project you realize how much the planet suffers from human actions and this will change the way you live.” completed the answers Forsea Sergiu.
And in the end, the teacher Costeniuc Iuliana that coordinated the project said that: “the project done by our team has been welcomed with huge enthusiasm not only by students from our school and from the school in Techirghiol but also by their parents. Being aware of the importance of protecting the environment, both children and their parents have demanded an optional course about the environment and the realization of some activities related to the beautification and sanitation of the area around Techiorghiol Lake, activities which will take place during the students’ summer holiday”.
On Wednesday, April 14, the final national stage for Romania of the THINK SMART, CREATE GREEN International School Competition took place, organized by EU-CONEXUS.
The international competition was dedicated to high-school students who want to become the creators of the future in which we all want to live. The works consisted in presenting the ideas and aspirations about the future of the coastal city that each team chose, in the form of a poster or video. Nationally, students from schools in Bucharest and Ilfov, belonging to two age categories (13-14 years and 14-15 years) entered the competition and submitted their projects online.
Category 13-14 years
Category 14-15 years
The judging commission from the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest was formed by
The Commission awarded the first scores according to criteria that analyse the quality of the work, compliance with established rules, creativity and originality, how the sustainable development of the environment was approached in the project, the ability to present the project in English (fluency and clarity). All teams went to the next stage of English project presentation in front of the jury for a maximum of 10 minutes. The event took place online, and the latest scores were given depending on how they were presented.
All the projects in the competition were creative, the high-school students made a consistent effort to achieve them and enjoyed the process they went through. The scores were very close, but the winners were:
The winning teams, one for each age category, will move on to the international stage, where they will have to submit their projects to an EU-CONEXUS international jury, consisting of one member from each EU-CONEXUS partner country and others.
The competition ends with numerous prizes: at national level students will receive certificates of participation and sustainable gifts EU-CONEXUS and internationally a trip to an EU-CONEXUS city or Brussels (Belgium), with a guided visit to the European Parliament, depending on the age category.
Fingers crossed for the Romanian teams to win the final international stage!
EU-CONEXUS ‘European University for Smart Sustainable Development of Coastal Urban Areas’ covers the issue of smart sustainable development of coastal urban areas such as the Black Sea coastal area with related cities.
One of the main objectives and activities is to take into account the challenges faced by coastal urban areas in Europe and to inspire members of society to identify solutions that respect ecological principles in everyday life. The coastal cities in Romania are: Constanța, Mangalia, Năvodari, Sulina, Eforie and Techirghiol.
During this period, EU-CONEXUS organizes an international competition and invites students to become the creators of the future in which we all want to live. Present to your schoolmates, national and international, your ideas, dreams and aspirations about the future of the coastal city you choose. Form a team of 4 children and 1 teacher, follow the instructions for your age group.
Choose one of the two topics related to the group to inform society about the importance of sustainable coastal zone development:
1.Children aged 13-14 (born in 2007):
2. Children aged 14-15 (born in 2006)
All works must be original. If the music and images are not original, participants are required to have permission to use them. All papers must be in English. The videos can be in Romanian, but with English subtitles. The shortlisted teams will present their project in English to national and international jurors.
Selection criteria – the competition is open to all schools in the Bucharest-Ilfov area.
The quality of the work and compliance with the established rules, creativity and originality, the way in which the sustainable development of the environment was approached in the project, the ability to present the project in English (fluency and clarity) are evaluated.
The winning national team will receive a trip to an EU-CONEXUS city.
The winning international team will receive (in case of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 virus or any other case of force majeure, the international prize can be replaced with another of equivalent value): a trip to Brussels (Belgium) with a guided tour of the European Parliament .
Whether you are a winner or not, you will have the chance to live this fascinating experience and gain knowledge about the sustainable development of the Bucharest-Ilfov region, you will receive certificates of participation. You will receive sustainable gifts EU-CONEXUS and a lunch with the Rector of the Technical University of Constructions Bucharest.
Deadline for registration of teams: January 15, 2021
Deadline for submission of posters, videos, etc .: 101/03/2021 – extended deadline 15/03/2021
Announcement of the 10 best teams for each age group: 29/03/2021
Presentation of projects at the Technical University of Constructions Bucharest: 29/03/2021
Announcement of national winners (1 for each age group) by UTCB: 14/04/2021
Virtual presentation of projects to the international jury: 27/04/2021
Announcement of the international winner (1 for each age group) by the European University EU-CONEXUS: 27/04/2021 – data are subject to change for organizational reasons. Give yourself a chance for change: take a step today for a sustainable future!
Contact Technical University of Constructions Bucharest: Cristiana Croitoru firstname.lastname@example.org
All contest rules are available at https://www.eu-conexus.eu/en/events/international-eu-conexus-school-contest/