Ukrainian Schoolchildren Bring Gold From International Environmental Olympiad
Two Ukrainian schoolchildren returned from the international environmental Olympiad in Kenya with gold medals. Their projects attracted both attention and prizes. One of the projects is almost ready to be implemented. What were they?
From Nairobi to Paris and from Paris to Kyiv. After 15 hours of travel, Ukrainian high-schoolers are finally back home from their trip to Kenya.
An eleventh-grade student Sofia is bringing a gold medal to her hometown of Lutsk. She impressed the judges of the International Olympiad with a project that helps assess the purity of water bodies. To do this she inspects shellfish infected with flatworms.
“If we detect the genus of trematodes — a kind of flatworm — in a body of water, then we can use our formula. And in this way we will find out whether livestock can be brought to this water body and whether people can swim in it,” winner of International Environmental Olympiad in the environment category Sofia Zolotopupova said.
According to Sofia’s mom, the girl managed to succeed thanks to her school and good teachers, who were able to inspire her. Back at home, Sofia will receive a prize from her mother as a reward for her victory at the Olympiad.
“She made a wish and when she was leaving she said that if she won, then I would have to fulfill it. We will celebrate the victory in a cafe which Sofiyka loves very much,” mother of Sofia Olena Valova said.
Kyiv resident Danylo won a gold medal in his category for a project on processing tires without harming the environment. He has been developing his project for about three years.
“We cool down the tires with liquid nitrogen, and they become hard and brittle. Using ultrasonic waves we grind them to a state of rubber crumb and steel cord,” winner of International Environmental Olympiad in the engineering category Danylo Kovalenko said.
Rubber crumb and steel cord can be reused in industry. For example, for tennis court surfaces and different sports equipment. Danylo also received the grand prix of the Olympiad for his idea.
“Four members of the jury had to approach the stand of each participant of the Olympiad. Eight passed by mine. But they did not come on their own. You had to take them by the hand and bring them to your stand, so that they would listen to your presentation,” Kovalenko said.
Both Ukrainian projects have worldwide relevance. And they are quite simple to implement in any country. Danylo is already in talks with investors and is planning to set up a tire-recycling facility in Ukraine.
“Danylo’s first project is almost ready. Only a business plan is necessary, and after that it can be implemented and become profitable. The second project needs a little more work. It is aimed at safeguarding health and improving the environment. And this is more important than money,” research advisor to the Ukrainian team Volodymyr Bezrukov said.
This year more than five hundred schoolchildren competed in six categories at the International Environmental Olympiad. In all they presented two hundred projects to protect the environment.