With the intention of fostering innovation and promoting entrepreneurship, the Universal College Lanka (UCL) organized InfoBiz Challenge 2017. The Challenge, organized by Universal College Lanka also marked the partnership launch with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Held on the 16th May 2017 at Clubhouse located at Havelock City, the InfoBiz Challenge 2017 played host to a number of dignitaries, students & teachers.
A total of 15 schools took part in the InfoBiz Challenge 2017. They were:
- Alethea International School
- Amal International School
- Belvoir College International
- Good Shepherd Convent – Kotahena
- Good Shepherd Girls Maha Vidyalayam
- Lyceum International School – Panadura
- Muslim Ladies College
- Ramanadhan Hindu Ladies College
- Royal College
- Salva Mangaiyar Vidyalayam
- St. Bridget’s Convent
- St. Thomas’s College – Mt. Lavinia
- Stafford International School\
- Visaka Vidyalaya
- Zahira College
Making paper planes
The event kicked off with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and a welcome address. With that, InfoBiz Challenge 2017 officially began. The first challenge of the teams was to make a paper plane. Sounds easy, right? Well not exactly. Conducted by drone expert Tilak Dassanayake, the challenge was to come up with a design for a new paper plane. Whichever plane travelled the most in a straight line and also had the lowest deviation won the challenge. The interesting bit here was the unorthodox and new designs that the teams came up with in order to meet the two objectives.
Throughout the challenge Tilak offered advice to the teams to help them out with achieving liftoff. The challenge ended with Tilak ending his session by giving his words of wisdom.
“Don’t confine yourself when trying to solve a problem. Think outside the box”
We then had a showdown of Entrepreneurial proportions
The 15 schools in attendance were asked to form their respective teams. Form there, they were required to identify a prevailing problem in Sri Lanka. Once a problem has been identified, the teams would have to device a plan to eliminate and/or minimise the problem.
The teams would be judged on a number of criteria such as identification of the problem and also proper justification of the problem. In addition, they would also be judged on the originality and usefulness of the solution.
Most of the teams picked the problem of garbage and proceeded to develop solutions to prevent it from happening or opting for a better waste management platform. They drew inspiration from the Meethotamulla tragedy to ensure that such a thing never happens again, which was quite encouraging to see.
Eco filters and bacteria for a better purpose
The team from Good Shepherd’s Convent proposed using bacteria to convert garbage to Methane, and then utilise it for home and perhaps even industrial purposes. Another team proposed creating a caterpillar that could ingest, digest and break down plastic, akin to the experiment carried out by researchers at Cambridge University. Accordingly, the larvae of the wax worm caterpillar which also consumes the wax found in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.
Apart from these, Alethea International School came up with an eco filter. This device/solution would essentially as the name portrays, filter out all harmful elements such as greenhouse gases and provide clean air. Belvoir College International tackled another important problem especially for teenagers and youth, which is an app to keep track of your money. Ramanadan Hindu Ladies College proposed a solution to wants to tackle agriculture through home gardening, so that basically everyone can grow crops such as fruits and vegetables in their own backyard, thus doing away with pesticides and insecticides. The food grown can be then used by the family or even sold to add extra income.
Protecting the community from Dengue and Social Media
Royal College identified Dengue as a potential hazard. Dengue as you all know, is a disease that if left unchecked and untreated, can be fatal, resulting in death. Sri Lanka, especially has a high mortality rate when it comes to Dengue. This is either because of negligence in getting the symptoms checked, or the lack of an income or poor income in getting treatment. As such, the solution put forth by the team at Royal College would include the facility to detect Dengue and also offer possible treatment if infected.
Vishaka Vidyalaya proposed a solution for another potential problem which is social media. More specifically, the restriction of social media. This could have a variety of applications such as restricting access to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to those below a certain age limit. Further, it could also be used as a method to improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace as browsing Facebook and Twitter while at work is detrimental to work.
The UCLan partnership and the winners for the day
While the team scores were being calculated, there was a major announcement that took the form of UCL announcing a partnership with UCLan, AKA the The University of Central Lancashire. Tim Steel, Director of UCLan’s International Partnership team was up in front to talk about the partnership. He expressed his excitement about the partnership and went on to talk about the partnership. As such, the new partnership will introduce 2 Bachelor’s degree programmes set to commence in September 2017.
After Tim’s session, it was time to announce the winners of InfoBiz Challenge 2017.
- Challenge 1 Winner – Amal International
- Challenge 2 Winner – Royal College
With that, the InfoBiz Challenge 2017 officially came to a close. Until next time.