Amidst fireworks and the lyrics to Stand Up for the Champions, students of The City School (Darakshan Campus, Team A) won the first prize and the title of being the most innovative visionary team of the year at the second edition of e-Magine’s flagship event Visionaries at Avari Towers in Karachi on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
The group of students had presented a prototype called the Cloud 9 Grid for the protection of data in the fast-paced world of today where cybercrimes and data hacking are constant threats to online security. Ilmesters Academy (Team A) was the first runner-up while The City School (Gulshan Campus Boys, Team A) won third place at the competition. The winners were given shields and prizes by Huda Garib, founder and CEO at e-Magine and Sibtain Jiwani, founder of Smartchoice.pk, Pakistan’s largest supermarket of financial products.
The idea behind Visionaries 2.0 was to provide students from grade 7 to 10 with a platform to exhibit innovative ideas, technical expertise and other soft skills, according to Huda. And the event proved to be just that. With more than 20 schools participating in Karachi, the students looked charged up and came up with some brilliant ideas accompanied by excellent presentation skills – something not often seen or encouraged in students of their age. As one of the guest speakers at the event commented, “Jab pauda lagatay hain, tou season mein lagatay hain. Aur inn bachon ki age sahi “season” hai yeh skills (innovation and presentation) bonay ki.”
In Karachi, participating schools included Bay View Academy (Clifton Campus), Ilmesters Academy, International Grammar School, The Kiran Foundation, The City School Network, Beaconhouse School System, Shah Wilayat, Meritorious School and Z international.
Students from these schools were asked to develop prototypes which could possibly transform the way we live in the next 30 to 50 years. They were given 60 minutes to develop pitch deck presentations for their ideas on the spot and create prototypes to add further visualisation to their idea. All the materials required for their presentations and prototypes were given by the event organisers. Once their time was up, they were asked to present their models before the panel of judges to earn the title of being the most innovative visionary of the year.
The participating teams came up with some brilliant ideas including using air pollution to make cement and building material; installing sensors in the sea to prevent fishermen from crossing territorial waters unknowingly resulting in their arrest; developing an App similar to Uber for detecting and responding to medical emergencies within a 500-yeard radius of the user; using sound waves to extinguish forest fires thereby conserving water; developing an App to help users plant trees the right way; and using Cannabis oil as a cancer cure instead of chemotherapy.
Phenomenal, right? We think so too!
As Mr. Abbas Husain, Director at the Teachers’ Development Centre, said, “Agar mustaqbil bachon ke haath mein hai, tou bohat acha mustaqbil hai.”
Sir Abbas went on to encourage students to pay more attention to their PowerPoint presentations in the future – making use of spellchecks and avoiding dark backgrounds with white fonts.
Most of the ideas were eye-opening, even for the adults attending, judging from the audience’s applause. In addition, Visionaries 2.0 was able to meet its objective of helping students develop and exhibit soft skills; to a huge round of applause a student from Meritorious High School, announced at the beginning of her presentation that she had a stutter but she would not allow it to affect her confidence and presentation.
Way to go, girl!
Some parents felt that the ideas and presentations had some weaknesses. Mrs. Zafar, whose daughter was participating from The City School said, “I feel that with the time these students and their teachers had to prepare for the event, they could have done better. Some teams were amazing but others lacked depth in their ideas and/or persuasion and confidence in their presentation skills.”
However, the judges and keynote speakers had nothing but encouragement for the students. Sibtain Jiwani urged them to keep working on their skills and to remain patriotic towards their country. “Even if you go abroad to pursue higher education, come back to Pakistan. This country needs minds like yours. You are an inspiration to adults and children younger than you, like my five-year-old daughter!”
According to one of the judges, Mr. Jake Van Der Merwe, whose focus is on using technology in agriculture, the event was one of the best experiences he has had in Pakistan so far. “I feel excited for this nation!” he said. Hopefully his excitement and encouraging words will leave a mark on these exceptional students for years to come!
The event sponsors included Hilal, Slice, North Spear, Sunridge, Pepsi, Mughal Rice and Atta, DigiDoze, Bogo, Diver’s Reef and What the Book while supporting partners were Nspire, Tech Pakistan and EdTech Pakistan. The official media partners for the events were Channel 5, Tech TV, The City Schools Network Telecast, ChalkTalk, Express News and The Reformer.
But this is NOT the end….Visionaries 2.0 will be held in Lahore on October 20, 2018. Keep following to watch more inspiring, life-changing ideas by students!
An undoubtedly commendable effort by Ms. Garib and her team for conducting this event and for encouraging young minds to think out-of-the-box. Congratulations winners and we wish e-Magine the best for their event in Lahore!