Not just one, but three students from Sinarmas World Academy (SWA) being chosen to be awarded the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) Student Innovator Award! Only a handful of 33 students were selected from across IB schools in 13 countries and the winners are eligible to receive grant funds of more than $145,000 combined. Four Indonesian students won the award, and three of them are SWA students: Rania, Chris and Leon. Their projects were selected after a competitive two-stage application and review process and are required to exercise advocacy for authenticity, social impact, and personal connection towards the initiative. Each winner is entitled for a funding of up to $10,000 to support project financial needs and ensure project success.
"Winning this award is a national pride. We are proud of Rania, Chris and Leon, for their hard work and commitment in doing these projects and for winning the award. Their projects not only demonstrate intelligence and knowledge but also character and values in the initiative to solve real world problems. These projects show empathy and a strong desire to have a positive impact on the world around them. As a school, we are responsible to not only enrich knowledge, but equally important to foster positive character through a solid learning environment." said Deddy Djaja Ria as General Manager of the SWA.
Rania’s project, “A New Life for Plastic” involves eliminating plastic waste through the conversion of the plastic into biodegradable/edible substances. Her passion in reducing plastic waste led her to her project of plastic degradation that involves the use of fungi in converting the polymers to biodegradable breakdown products that can be used in agriculture or even as an edible food source to support world food demand. "My project focuses on the degradation of plastics, bags for example are common environmental pollutants, by utilizing the fungal breakdown mechanisms which convert the polymers into small organic compounds, which can be absorbed and assimilated by the fungi. I will explore the different conditions and their effectiveness in breakdown in order to take one step closer to eliminating plastic waste." explain Rania.
Similar to Rania, Chris has a growing concern for the environment well being and the problems caused by the ever growing number of plastic waste and exploitation of non-renewable energy. Through his project, “Plastic Fuelled Microbial Fuel Cell”, he involves the combination of two elements: bacterial-mediated plastic degradation and bacterial-fuelled biological fuel cells. He combined these ideas to produce a plan for using waste plastic as a fuel source for electricity generation. “In most rural areas, electricity is not very accessible and, at the same time, plastic- especially plastic waste- is very common. My project addresses the need to provide rural areas with a sustainable source of clean energy, while reducing environmental plastic waste that is present in these areas." added Chris.
Unlike Rania and Chris, their fellow winners of MYP Innovator's Grant, Leon focuses his project in the preservation of Indonesian culture, Javanese culture. As the world flattens, globalization and modernization rises, overshadowing many ancestral cultures and leading them to their graves. Leon refused to forget his Javanese culture, and through his project, “SIJI” an iOS application for Javanese transcript learning. "My goal is to develop a major part of Javanese culture- the vanishing Javanese writing systems- by helping to make it accessible to everyone and support its use in everyday life. My app enables all people, including non-Javanese, located in any part of the world to learn Javanese language and script, opening a door that has been closed previously.” Said Leon.
Deddy hopes Rania, Chirs and Leon's achievements will inspire and motivate other Indonesia students to study more and create more innovations. "Our Indonesian students have tremendous potential. With the proper and consistent guidance, education and positive learning environment, we are able to do breakthroughs and innovations. Indonesia will be able to contribute to solving world problems and push humanity even forward" he added.