In November 2020 as part of the IX Festival of Innovative Projects Sikorsky Challenge 2020 the national stage of the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2021 took place. Traditionally, the National Ecological and Naturalistic Center of Ukraine and the Institute of Physics and Technology of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute hosted the competition. Director of the Institute of Physics and Technology and Supervisor of the “Eco-Techno Ukraine” science fair Oleksii Novikov says, ‘It is the 12th time when Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute organizes the competition. “Eco-Techno Ukraine” is a national stage of the global competition of scientific and technical projects for the ISEF students. It is owned and administered by the Society for Science & the Public in the United States. Each May the final of the competition takes place in one of the American cities. Up to 2,000 participants can gather in the finals. Many countries worldwide prepare for the finals, once Ukraine joined this international event.’
Two years ago, the “Eco” and “Techno” competitions merged to optimize their work. This year, 177 projects made it to the finals. There were 111 projects from technical categories among them. As the jury evaluated, 9 projects won the first prize; 10 - the second prize; the third place shared 12 projects, and the fourth - 8 projects.
Oleksii Novikov noted that the jury gives great consideration to the English proficiency in the projects evaluation: ‘A significant part of the jury is linguists, who give separate scores for the level of language proficiency, which consequently plays an important role. After all, the contestants will potentially present their works in the finals, which takes place in the United States.’
“Eco-Techno Ukraine” annually presents interesting developments, which are often recognized at international competitions. Andrii Konovalenko is one of such inventors, the founder of “CamTouch”. He became the USA winner of the ISEF competition, and today, at the age of 22, he is already a successful businessman: ‘We are creating a device that makes it possible to turn any surface into an interactive one. Thanks to the availability of this device, every school teacher will be able to use it to make lessons more interactive and interesting.’
The idea for this project came to Andrii Konovalenko when he was a 10th-grade student: ‘I was trying to scan and looking for the necessary programs and applications. The plan however failed. Then I took a pen, green markers, put a camera between two cabinets so that the lens covered the entire surface, and started working.’
Andrii Konovalenko's example is an incentive for many students to go on with their ideas, and such competitions as “Eco-Techno Ukraine” help young developers make their inventions known around the world.