Defining the future through science and technology

Junior Achievement Cyprus and ExxonMobil Cyprus are pleased to announce the implementation of the Sci-Tech Challenge program for the third consecutive year. The programme is a collaboration between JA Europe and ExxonMobil which counts 12 years with the participation of more than 60,000 students from all over Europe.

Science and technology play a critical role in advancing our understanding of the world and creating new technologies that improve the quality of our lives. Without scientific research and technological innovation, we would not have many of the benefits we enjoy today, such as modern medicine, advanced communication tools, and efficient transportation systems. By studying science and technology, we can develop the knowledge and skills needed to create innovative solutions to complex problems.

The aims of the programme are to inspire students to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses at higher education levels and to enable them to understand the wide variety of careers that can be pursued through STEM education while leveraging their talents. It is a fact that the number of students studying these subjects is decreasing both internationally and in Cyprus, while the projected number of jobs in the field is increasing.

The programme was implemented this year in 14 schools bringing the 411 students face to face with the real challenges facing the world and our environment. Volunteer mentors from ExxonMobil played a key role in the programme, as through classroom visits they served as role models for a career in the STEM field while introducing students to the main energy challenges.

Then, 14 student groups from the schools that took part in the programme with a total of 70 students participated in the National Sci-Tech Challenge Competition held on April 6, 2023 between the hours of 09:00 – 18:00 at the POED buildings.

The winner was the team from the Lyceum of Agios Georgios Lakatamias, which will represent Cyprus in the European Competition of the Sci-Tech Challenge organized by ExxonMobil Europe and Junior Achievement Europe, and which will take place on May 9 – 10, 2023 in Brussels. Sofoklis Vassiliou, Nikolas Pantelis, Irini Stylianou, Nefeli Vassiliou and Panagiotis Pilakoutas with responsible professors Ms. Anna Maria Pavlou and Ms. Maria Filippou, like their classmates in the other four European countries, were invited to develop a plan for the future and sustainable school environment by introducing technology, reducing energy consumption, but also reviewing services or products. The team introduced both an affordable and sustainable plan that focuses on: Building Reformation, Waste Management, Transport, and Education.

At second Place was Silverline Private School team consisting of Marin Markov, Mark Gavrilov, Ghazal Zowayed, Αlexander Markou, and Georgina Spyrou; responsible teachers: Avgoustinos Avgousti and Antria Christoforou.
The team’s plan focused on using kinetic energy piezoelectric tiles as a renewable source, and wavy designs in the school’s architecture to improve air cooling. The team will have the opportunity to have a job shadowing day at ExxonMobil HQ in Nicosia.
Third place goes to Lefkara Lyceum team, consisting of Panagiota Demetriou, Christos Ektoros, Constantinos Kalli, Kleanthi Ptohou, and Panagiotis Prodromou, with Zelina Filippou and Panagiotis Pouloupatis as their responsible teachers. The team proposed a central unit that monitors the energy consumption of every public school in Cyprus and helps to reduce their carbon footprint. As an award, each participant of the winning team will receive an educational STEM game.

We would like to express our warm thanks to the mentors from the company ExxonMobil Ms. Louisa Papageorgiou, Ms. Christina Tomazou, Mr. Fritz Mertz, Ms. Maria Kolokasi, Mr. Michali Michael, Mr. Prodromos Demosthenous, and Mr. Savva Peggero who helped the teams effectively. The jury consisting of Mr. Varnavas Theodosiou from ExxonMobil Cyprus, Ms. Marianna Harambous from the Blue Economy Innovation Center, Mr. Nikos Isaris from the European Commission in Cyprus and Mr. Andreas Papadopoulos from the JA Board of Directors of Cyprus, who had the difficult task of selecting the winners and of course the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth for their support.

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