The impacts of climate change and the sustainability challenges we face are complex. While huge global solutions are needed, small ground-up innovations are extremely valuable in enabling change to address some of the social and environmental issues we see today. There is huge potential among students and young Singaporeans and we hope to establish our hackathon as a supportive and collaborative platform to nurture and develop budding ideas to inspire continuous sustainable innovation for change.
GreenFest 2022 will feature two hackathons on the theme of Fashion and Technology, where students and young Singaporeans are challenged to apply their creative talents, technical skills and resourcefulness to develop impactful innovations to address social and environmental issues of today. 50 teams have signed up for the two hackathons and we will be featuring some of them at PAssion Wave @ Jurong Lake Gardens on 23 July 2022 (Saturday).
Students enrolled in the technological track were supported with free laser cutting, digital fabrication and microcontroller training from LionsForge and NLB MakeIT to facilitate the teams’ solution modelling and prototyping. We are seeing a range of different interesting ideas through the submissions and some of the top innovations will be displayed at the GreenFest!
ARTS AND FASHION
The global fashion industry is linked with unequal labour conditions and our excessive fashion consumption habits are exacerbating waste and environmental issues. Students participating in this hackathon, supported by Renew Earth Sweatshop, are prompted to rethink the process of creation and the life cycle of clothing by designing and fabricating their own fashion wear using donated materials.
A craft space was set up at Tekka Place for students to visit for guidance and access to sewing machines, tools and donated old clothes. Through this collaboration we also hope to contribute to Renew Earth Sweatshop’s goal of upcycling 500kg of fashion waste by inspiring students and the community to craft their own projects. Successful crafted fashion artworks will also be showcased at the festival!
"My children TJKidz joined the Tech Hackathon under the primary school category. They were very happy and surprised that they got 1st runner-up. The journey from ideation, presentation, prototyping and bringing the prototype - an eco-bike that generates free electricity for schools - to GreenFest has been a journey of learning and growth for them and the family. Through the Hackathon, my children learnt about dynamos, voltage, wattage, and how the connected system works. They also had to research electricity savings and usage in schools and prepare presentation slides. Such a journey of learning only happened because of this Hackathon.
What really worked was the booth showcase – I was pleased to see my children going around on their own (without any prompting) to visit other booths, learn what others have done and ask questions. They can see (and learn) how this Hackathon covers mechanical, coding, robotics and fashion design. What worked equally well and even better were the other booths from other maker spaces, 3D printing companies, and eco start-ups. My children can experience the entire lifecycle – from budding innovator/creator (e.g. thru the Hackathons) to hacking/experimenting with ideas at maker spaces to starting your business/ideas with start-ups. We need more of these GreenFest-related platforms to encourage such interactions.
It was also satisfying to see that the Hackathon participants were allowed to present their ideas to the public and fellow participants. They get to interact, discuss, share ideas and inspire each another. Such experiences can only be achieved from a physical Hackathon where participants have the platform to do so.
I cite two incidents at GreenFest – two gentlemen separately visited TJ Kidz’s booth and asked a lot of questions, grilling and testing them on the mechanics of the prototype. I think they are the organisers or Taman Jurong senior volunteer/grassroots leaders – both were walking with the GOH group. The gentlemen were amazed and pleased that primary school kids could think of such an idea and asked the circumstances that led them to join the Hackathon. They were very curious to know why my children had signed up (cos they themselves wanted to) and how they knew of the Hackathon (1st thru Vivita @ the 1st Makeathon). Given that the school curriculum is so packed and structured, it leaves students little time and avenues to nurture and pursue STEM-related interests. Therefore, the gentlemen were encouraged to see primary school students and youths making time to join such Hackathons and commended that we were heading in the right direction. Both asked my children if they would like to consider a career in engineering. My children replied they were not sure but will think about it. That was when I felt a seed was planted through such convos – it got my children thinking. For the public – in this case, the 2 gentlemen – they learnt that primary school children could do Hackathons – nurture them young, see how they bloom and inspire fellow primary school students to embrace STEM and STEM interests.
For the 2 ITE teams who won the Tech Hackathon, the students were so proud and happy. I can tell it means a lot to them as they beat other IHLs. This Hackathon is really meaningful as it gives youths an avenue to apply and showcase their technical skills and knowledge.
Lastly, fostering young makers, innovators and entrepreneurs in Singapore – we need more of them, and sometimes, all it takes is a small seed, such as this Hackathon, to begin the journey for youths. Provide an avenue to start them young and nurture them all the way."
"Students are motivated to examine sustainability at a greater depth and not just as a vague or broad concept but were given the ability to realise a product or process within their means. They also get to see what their peers are doing for sustainability."
Team Bonding - we are able to work together and find ideas
Opportunities to research the theme.
Seek guidance from our families.
Good Opportunities to make use of makeit (Library Resources)
Proud movement when received valuable prizes.
Team Vivinauts Parents
"Thanks again for a great makeathon run and finale event today. We had a lot of fun today! Definitely should get Tinkermind back next round to organise another freestyle STEM session.
Their staff are young but so friendly, committed and professional."
Team National Junior College
"The hackathon allowed us to share our idea with the general public and gather feedback on how to improve our product. It was also interesting to understand the innovations of other participants.
Through the hackathon, we learnt how to solve real-life problems using the content we know daily in school, a rare opportunity.
We have learnt how to improve and extend projects from the comments given by other teachers/students/onlookers. And we also gained some knowledge in the areas that the other projects had worked on. The other exhibitions by NEA or other companies could make us think and build our knowledge. We will participate next year and encourage our friends to join also.
We have learnt to work harder and quicker with less procrastination. It has allowed us to improve and learn more about each other as a team."