STEMpowering Youth: 5th cycle finalists!

“STEMpowering Youth” is a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) extracurricular educational program implemented by SciCo with the support of Vodafone Foundation and Ellinogermaniki Agogi since 2017. The purpose of the program is to familiarize students from remote areas of Greece with science, problem solving and innovation. In each cycle of the program, students aged 13-16 are trained in Science, Astronomy and Programming using technologies and interactive tools.

At the end of each cycle, each team undertakes the role to create its own project, following the scientific steps of solving a problem that include problem recognition and problem solving while combining scientific knowledge and imagination. Projects focus on solving a daily problem of the local community. Through this process, students get the opportunity to act as active citizens, recognizing the needs of either their local or school communities or vulnerable social groups living in it.

During the 5th cycle, students created 46 unique projects! The emerging researchers - engineers developed constructions for which they combined their knowledge in programming, Internet of Things, the Arduino microcontroller platform and the App Inventor mobile application platform, along with a lot of their creative thinking and imagination. Details of each project are available in our educational community in the Open Schools for Open Societies platform. Let's get to know the new batch of young scientists, engineers and inventors!

We are all already aware of how beautiful the island of Alonissos is, but are we aware of our duties as visitors and the restrictions that apply so as not to disturb the balance in the magnificent Northern Sporades Marine Park? Four students decided to develop the ThalassioParko app for Android, an app available for free at the play store so that everyone can easily be informed about the rules of visiting and navigating in the Marine Park. Furthermore, the magnificent forest areas on the island are now protected against the threat of fires thanks to the wireless forest protection network designed and constructed by high school students. Finally, a meteorological station and altimeter installed at the school facilities can inform about the temperature and humidity levels as well as the "height" of every student ...

No more floods, garbage, or air pollution can now threaten the residents of Vamos at Chania! With the Flood Alarm device, residents can be informed on time through a sms sent to their mobile phones, about the event of an upcoming flooding. Garbage can now be harvested in the most efficient way thanks to the Garbage Monitoring system, while atmospheric carbon monoxide levels can be recorded daily by the Red Balloon Air Monitoring device and ensure good air quality in the environment. Finally, residents can sleep undisturbed in their homes without having to worry about unwanted intruders, thanks to the Message Sending Motion Detector Alarm. And if there is still something that disturbs their sleep, they can detect it with the sleeping phases determination device and with the Self Hospital device installed in their homes they can also monitor their health status. One thing is for sure, no city in Greece has such a high-tech post-service in which the postman rings with… SMS! As there is now an innovative device that can be mounted on remote mailboxes and notify their owners by SMS in case of incoming mail!

The high school from Velissariou in Ioannina, will never be unshielded again towards malicious visitors as their alarm system allows every user on site to know the exact number of visitors. But… the last one sets the alarm!

Students from Kalamata love and respect their natural environment, both their in-land and sea environment! The forests in Kalamata will now be more protected with the A Safer Forest (A.S.F) fire protection system, while crops will be secured against ice frost thanks to The Ice Breaker. Also, the robot Hydrobot Underwater logs, will record water pollution with the goal of protecting the aquatic systems. And last, a safer home is proposed by students in Kalamata, emphasising on passive safety of residents.

Students from Karditsa envision a pollution-free city and evergreen plains in Thessaly! With the smart recycling bin, waste can now be harvested more efficiently, while students can monitor with the environmental characteristics measurement station, the environmental conditions right from their classrooms and through their mobile phones. Is Karditsa a "loud" city? With a device, everyone can now measure the decibel levels in our city and find out! Are you afraid of earthquakes? You should not! With evoke your own earthquake, the user can generate his own seismic vibration and be informed about the nature of the seismic activity. One thing is certain, that the plains in Thessaly will be more prosperous than ever especially with the smart pump that makes watering the fields more efficient than ever!

Corfu will become a model city for recyclables management after the development of the waste management application! The android app informs the user for both the correct recycling methods and the location of recycling bins. Furthermore, with the wearable device helping the elderly, every elderly person can wear it easily and keep their loved ones informed and rest assured about their condition when they are away from home.

Residents of Kefalonia can now drink premium quality water from the island's water supply network after a group of students decided to develop a water salt detection system that measures salt levels. Another device designed beautifully by DataCube can inform about the quality of the air we breathe and all the organic waste can be converted to eco-friendly fertilizer, thanks to a composting device. Last, those who want to quit smoking can use the device designed to reduce smoking, while if they are thinking about drinking another drink, they can first consult their portable alcohol meter to know if they are within an allowed range.

Concerning the passive security of tenants, students of Corinth took care of it and proposed a gas leak detection device that can be installed at any home. Parking has also become a piece of cake thanks to the car park assist while a weather station has proven useful for knowing how to dress for a walk in the most beautiful parts in the city of Corinth.

A smart future city was envisioned by students of Leros! Through creating a smart fan they offered the option to turn on and off the fan remotely, during the summer months. Thanks to a device, smoking is now easily banned in school toilets thanks to the device and last, the control buttons on the school garage door are not needed anymore and can be removed since the automatic door can be controlled by a mobile phone.

Leonidio, a constantly evolving destination for rock climbing, now has a meteorological rock climbing station designed by the local high school students. Furthermore, given that there are several cycling routes in the city, a great improvement has been made after a bike speedometer displaying safety messages on speed and helmet use. Finally, medication reminder keeps the elderly vigilant on the correct schedule of their medications.

Students from Mytilini have totally understood the importance of smart cities and the automations that can be used for making them. Therefore, they suggested many interesting projects. First of all, a smart home in which the lights and garage door can automatically turn on/ off and open / close respectively, with the use of a mobile phone. Furthermore, being sensitive to older people who are left alone at home, another group of students suggested a home with an alarm alerting when older residents are in danger. Moreover, another project proposed a way so that people with a mobility impairment can travel comfortably, e.g. with a smart city supporting the disabled. Another smart city with energy saving lights can keep provincial roads well-lighted with automatic lights. Finally, the problem of garbage in school units is now solved with the construction of school buckets being controlled by sensors while another team envisioned a greener school thanks to an automatic watering system of the school plant pots.

With a cool summer-inspired design, students from Orestiada designed a remotely-controlled boat that we can be controlled through a mobile phone. We conclude the 5th cycle with the tunes from the robotic metallophone, a futuristic musical instrument with which notes are played when our hands cross through by laser beams.

The three finalists of projects that really stood out in this cycle were ThalassioParko from Alonnisos, "SMS Mailer" from Vamos Chania and The Ice Breaker from Kalamata!