For the second straight year, Belmont Day School students have shown their creativity, commitment, and expertise in devising technology-based solutions to address environmental issues facing the world today. In late September, the micro:bit Educational Foundation announced the winners of its 2021 Do Your :bit Challenge. Taking first place for North America were Kenna Schneider ‘21 and Margot Klug ‘21, and earning an honorable mention as runners-up were their classmates, Noah Kokinos ‘21 and Alexander Colangelo ‘21.
The London-based micro:bit Educational Foundation collaborates with educators to inspire and enable students to engage in the digital world in creative ways. The organization's Global Goals curriculum–taught at BDS in the Global Goals middle school arts elective by innovation teacher Kurt Robinson–challenges students to devise a technology-based solution to address an environmental issue. In 2020, Lynn Lewis ‘20, also earned a top honor for her idea and prototype to combat deforestation with a device to notify park rangers of illegal foresting via posts to Twitter.
Kenna and Margot teamed up to design and create a prototype for a portable filtration device, which addresses the Global Goal category of clean water and sanitation. The team’s efficient, solar-powered device uses a micro:bit to control UV LEDs that work to sterilize drinking water. They picked the challenge of addressing the need for clean water because of how widespread the issue is around the world.
“We chose clean water access because we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have clean water. It is an essential component of life,” Kenna said. “It is truly disheartening to know that some people have to walk miles just to drink dirty water. We hope that our prototype will bring more attention to this crucial global issue.”
Noah and Alexander designed and programmed a new package-carrying drone that aimed at reducing the traffic on our roads and thus cutting harmful vehicle emissions.
Mr. Robinson said he was proud of these teams and their classmates in the Global Goals class.
“The Global Goals curriculum embodies how our students put the BDS values into action,” Mr. Robinson said. “I am inspired by the students’ creativity and caring and how they innovate as they gain a mastery of new technology. Winning this competition, especially two years in a row, is a great accolade, but experiencing how our students are investing what they learn in trying to help to improve our world is truly the prize.”
Read about all the winning entries on the micro:bit website.