ESTDEV’s Special Awards Recognise Global Thinkers at the Student Inventors’ Competition

The Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV) awarded five special prizes to student competitors at the National Contest for Young Inventors, to recognise children whose innovations support sustainable development and promote a resourceful lifestyle.

“All big ideas start with a tiny spark. It’s great to see that Estonian schoolchildren are thinking big and looking for solutions to problems – such as waste management – that people face all over the world, rich and poor alike,” commented Kristel Rillo, Program Manager for Digital Education at ESTDEV.

“The ability to think critically about the world and our role in it, and to find solutions that move us forward in realising a sustainable way of life, is part of the mindset of a global citizen. This is something that ESTDEV and our partners want to promote in Estonian schools in order to nurture global education,” added Rillo.

508 young inventors presented 396 ideas at the National Contest for Young Inventors. Participants came from 95 schools, kindergartens, and extra-curricular organisations across Estonia. Their innovations were clever, resourceful, and inspiring. Below are the recipients of ESTDEV’s €300 special awards.

Recipients of ESTDEV’s  €300 Special Awards:

Nora Eelmaa (Tartu Kivilinna School, Grade 3), “Instant Washing Machine: Kimalane 3000”
This young inventor identified two major problems: that in many countries, water is a limited resource, and that the textile industry and excessive consumer culture around clothing has a negative impact on the environment. Her high-speed cleaning machine, the Kimalane 3000, would contribute to the sustainability of our planet.

Denis Latyšev (Tallinn Õismäe Russian Institute, Grade 6), “The Garbage Press”
Denis’ vision for a better way to organise and manage waste targets environmental sustainability. This is significant for climate justice, as members of poorer communities suffer the most from climate change at the hands of consumerist countries.

Frank Treu (Tallinn Secondary School of Science, Grade 4), “Rainwater Waste Network”
Garbage entering the sea is a critical problem that impacts life cycles and our own health. This innovator proposed a solution that attends to this problem, particularly in countries where street cleaning may not yet be adequate. His solution is simple, and easy to implement in any part of the world. Frank’s awareness and cleverness make him a model global citizen.

Marten Arumäe (Voore Primary School, Grade 7), “The Hand-Powered Generator”
There are many countries in which electrical power does not simply run through one’s walls, and the ability to produce energy is much lower than the desire, and even need, to consume it. Marten set out to solve the global problem of electrical production. His invention, which emphasises recycling, has won him well-deserved accolades for engineering and shows an awareness and empathy for the importance of resource conservation in a global context.

Ketly Ilvest (Saaremaa Gymnasium, Grade 11), “Plastic Pusher”
The awareness of the abundance of plastic on our planet, as well as the capacity to address this problem, varies greatly from country to country. In her project, Ketly solves a global challenge in a unique and adaptable way that benefits our planet as a whole. A true citizen of the world, she draws her innovation from the international scientific works she has studied.

According to Tanel Liira, chairman of the competition’s evaluation committee, this year’s competition was exceptional, with entrants who were well-informed and projects that were meaningful. “The ideas entered in this competition were not limited to mere descriptions on paper. Prototypes were built, the presented inventions were filmed, and professional software was used in designs,” described Liira.

The future is bright thanks to the visionary young minds at this awe-inspiring competition.

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ESTDEV is a state foundation that organises and coordinates Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid programs, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.