110 students from Cahul, Cantemir, Leova and Taraclia generated creative solutions for a sustainable environment within a hackathon organised by „EU4Moldova Startup City Cahul” and „Tekwill in Every School”. Six teams from middle and high schools were awarded.

The first-place winners – one of the teams coming from “Dmitrie Cantemir” Theoretical Lyceum from Cantemir generated a great solution regarding the recycling of plastic waste. The students proposed a business activity which involves collecting plastic bottles, pressing and transporting them to a recycling plant where they will be turned into polyester. Later, this material will be used for making tank tops and shorts.

„There is a lot of plastic thrown everywhere in Cantemir disctrict and town, in the villages, in the town center. The idea is excellent, we both make money and completely clean the city”,

says Daniil, student at „Dimitrie Cantemir” Theoretical Lyceum, Cantemir.

As per middle school level, the first place was won by “Mihai Eminescu” Gymnasium team from Cantemir town, which proposed real solutions for saving water. At the same time, the students cleaned from garbage a rest area around the town pond.

„For the first time in my life I participated in such a competition, and it was a very interesting experience. We cleaned the polluted areas, and we also want to launch a project, which aim will be cleaning of the wells”,

says Felicia, student of the „Mihai Eminescu” Gymnasium, Cantemir town.

The teams worked on projects throughout the school year, being guided by mentors, IT and environmental specialists, so that the proposed projects were feasible.

„The problems are so actual and so revolting that people got used to living with them and stating that it is normal … The ideas are wonderful, I am sure that at least three teams will try to implement them”,

said Aurica Bacalov, mentor and teacher at the „Dmitrie Cantemir” Theoretical Lyceum, Cantemir town.

During the hackathon, the students had to apply the digital skills acquired during the optional courses offered by „Tekwill in Every School”, namely: graphic design, web design and development, and entrepreneurship.

„I really liked how graphic design tools were used in creating the website and in some cases the applications. There are still things to improve, but they are children and they are very smart, I was not so good when I was little. Most of the presented solutions are quite simple to implement and are already being implemented or are ready to be put into practice”,

says Constantin Șarcov, Graphic Design mentor within the „Tekwill in Every School” programme.

The proposed projects addressed solutions to waste management, water and air pollution, wastewater use, climate change and global warming, as well as deforestation.

„Cahul Hacks for Sustainable Goods aims to identify and value the students’ digital skills, but at the same time, to value the creative ideas of young people, to be able to contribute with smart solutions in solving ecological problems, here in the southern region”,

stated Nicolae Mocanu, STEM manager, “EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul”.

The winning teams were selected by a jury, following the presentation of each project.

Middle school level: 1st place: “Mihai Eminescu” Gymnasium, Cantemir town, 2nd place: “Mihail Sadoveanu” Theoretical Lyceum, Giurgiulesti village, Cahul, 3rd place: “Academician Ion Bostan” Theoretical Lyceum, Brinza village, Cahul.

High school level: 1st place: “Dmitri Cantemir” Theoretical Lyceum, Cantemir town, 2nd place: “Dmitrie Cantemir” Theoretical Lyceum, Cantemir town, 3rd place: “Constantin Spataru” Theoretical Lyceum, Leova town.

Students aged 13 to 19 who are studying at least one of the “Tekwill in Every School” course could participate in the hackathon. Each member of the winning teams received prizes as laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and smart watches.

“EU4Moldova: Start-up City Cahul” is implemented by ATIC, with the financial assistance of the European Union in partnership with Sweden.