2013 Creativity, Innovation Contest: Looking for New Ways to Reduce the Ecological Footprint

2013 Creativity and Innovation ContestHigh School students from South America are invited to submit research proposals offering innovative solutions to environmental problems. The U.S. Embassy Lima and the Regional Environmental Hub Office announce the 2013 Creativity and Innovation Contest: Looking for New Ways to Reduce the Ecological Footprint. We are inviting high school students from South America to submit research proposals offering innovative solutions to environmental problems, such as waste disposal, recycling, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, lack of energy, water conservation and biodiversity.

This contest will focus on innovation and creativity, fundamental traits in the application of science to the world’s environmental challenges.

What’s creativity? What’s innovation?

Creativity refers to the process of identifying and solving problems, which are not familiar but are readily acknowledged as revolutionary. Innovation is creating value by implementing new ideas, improving systems that already exist, making them better, faster, and cheaper. It also involves new technologies, new business models, new processes, and new organizational set ups. Innovation is the process of taking those ideas to market or to usefulness.

1. Participants Students attending currently high school (12-16 years old). They will be able to have the assistance of their science teachers or mentors. Schools should be located in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, or Venezuela.

2. Categories

  • Environment: for projects related to recycling, pollution.
  • Energy: for projects related to clean and renewable forms of energy.
  • Conservation: for projects related to biodiversity and water conservation.

3. Key dates

  • Posted Date. 1 February 2013 – Publication of contest rules through social media and websites of participant organizations.
  • Project Registration. 25 February – 31 March – Project registration starts. An online form will be available on REO website . This way, it will be easy to get statistics reports. During this period, students will be able to submit queries on both the contest and their projects.
  • Application Due Date. 1 April – 30 April – Student should submit their projects by 12:00pm (local time in the participant’s country), April 30.
  • Scientific Review. 1 May – 31 May – Assessment by a jury made up of scientists from different countries and specialties.
  • Award Notice. 5 June – Winners will be announced on World Environment Day.

4. Project Presentation

Students should fill out an online registration form, which will be available on REO website, www.reosouthamerica.com. An acknowledge receipt will be automatically submitted to students. According to the schedule, participants can send any queries related to contest rules or projects to reo_southamerica@state.gov.

To present their final projects, students should submit:

  • Summary/Abstract (max 200 words)
  • Project Narrative (max 3 pages) Describe the scientific problem that you propose to address, its importance, and how solving this problem would have a major impact on area of study. How is this project distinct from other options. Include a detailed list of materials, description of all processes, facilities, equipment and other resources employed, final project cost.
  • Conclusions. State clearly and concisely what makes your project innovative (max 100 words).
  • Appendix. Include Diagrams/Sketches/Videos/Photos.
  • Bibliography & References Cited (if applicable)

All these documents should be submitted electronically in order to re-submit to reviewers, who could be in different countries. Contest languages are Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

5. Review and Selection Process

Reviewers will be recognized scientists in fields related to the categories of this contest.

Reviewers will evaluate project innovation, creativity, relevance, and viability.

6. Awards:

The most innovative project from each category selected by a panel of international scientists will receive a certificate of achievement and a prize TBD.

All applicants will receive a certificate of participation.

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