SIC Online Ideathon

5 researchers from the Welcome Office community participated in the unique event – SIC Online Ideathon – organised on 23 January 2021 by SIC in collaboration with the partners in Mexico and Canada. Together with Czech high school teachers and professionals in the education sectors, the scientists from the Astronomical Institute and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences came together to ideate solutions to challenges facing the transport, tourism, energy, environment and healthcare sectors of Central Bohemia, by using a maker approach.

The main goal of the online event was to develop a practical and innovative solution based on a functional prototype that could solve a problem in a given sector, applying the concepts of maker education, collaborative platforms and technologies (microcontrollers). The 5 participating teams of 3 members, which some of them were working remotely from each other and other in one space, were guided throughout the 5 hours event by their facilitators to come up with a problem statement for their assigned sector, ideate the solution thinking on the end user, and with the prototyping which included beginners and advance programming. The tools used included recycle materials of easy access, Miro boards for the online collaborative work, Micro:bit kits and the platform Flipgrid to share their pitch videos with the jurors.
The jurors evaluated according to the following criteria awarding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place but also giving special mentions to some of the teams: inspirational idea, innovation, impact and communication.

The team 4 was composed of 2 researchers from the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Maciej Zapiór and Artem Koval, and a high school teacher from the Municipal Library of Polička. They solved a challenge within the Energy sector and this is how they describe their project. “We designed a smart street lighting prototype. Using a light and motion detector that switches on the automatic lighting in case of nightfall and/or pedestrians approaching the street lamp. Otherwise, the light remains off. The system can be used by the municipalities of the Central Bohemian Region.” For this project, the team received a special mention for the best impact from the jury.

The team 5 was represented by 3 researchers from the Astronomical Institute and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Galina Motorina, Marta García Rivas and Sergii Chertopalov. This is how they dealt with the sector of Transport: “The goal of our project was to improve the transport sector within Central Bohemia by using ecological means of transport, such as bicycles carrying our prototype. The design aims to make a statistical study of the density and frequency of cars on the roads by counting the cars with a sensor, while keeping the riders visible and safe with a flashing LED strip that automatically turns on when the sunlight is dim.” For the project, the team won the 3rd place and a special mention for the best inspirational idea.

Curious to see the results of the Ideathon? Here are videos our teams put together as a pitch for their ideas!