Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Awards
June 17th, 2015
5:38
 

Finding ways to best utilize our planetary resources has been a theme of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – a specialized agency of the United Nations) for many years.  This initiative has garnered less attention in the media than perhaps might be expected – but, as ordinary citizens, we’re becoming more personally aware as our world continues to undergo startling changes relative to climate, water availability, sustainable construction, etc., etc.

One of UNESCO’s objectives in which I find myself particularly interested is the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which “develops the basis within the natural and social sciences for the rational and sustainable use and conservation of the resources of the biosphere and for the improvement of the overall relationship between people and their environment.”

There is a yearly competition in which you might wish to participate (and of which you may be unaware…as I was), that encourages new avenues to tackle the issues mentioned above affecting everyone around the world -

UNESCO logoMAB Young Scientists Awards

 

Although the 2015 application has not yet been posted, you can find out details about the competition by clicking the link above.  There is a $5,000 USD award to the winner(s).  To be eligible, award applications must be made on the MAB Young Scientists Award application form (in English or French) and be endorsed by the applicant’s MAB National Committee, which may endorse only two applications per year from applicants who are not older than 40 years of age (at the closing date of the application).

There are other incentives UNESCO offers as well; take a look here: Awards and Prizes

Even if you find that you don’t qualify for the competitions, I do hope that you’ll spend some time exploring the wealth of information on UNESCO’s website… There’s much food for thought and many pathways to explore – what will YOU contribute?

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NASA has issued a challenge to designers aimed at stimulating innovation in 3D printing solutions that may one day be the key to establishing a permanent presence on Mars.

NASA has launched the multi-phase 3D Printed Habitat Challenge as part of its Centennial Challenges program.  Phase 1 of the competition runs until September 27, with the top 30 submissions to be judged at the World Maker Faire in New York.

The first phase of the challenge will award a $50,000 prize based on pure architectural merits, while a second will hand out two $1.1 million prizes for those who figure out how to manufacture individual components and whole shelters from “indigenous materials,” such as rocky soil. NASA hopes that the winning ideas will make it possible to settle alien terrain without bringing mountains of Earth-made construction supplies. That would not only let crews pack light, but fix their own abodes if something goes wrong millions of miles from Earth.

blog 3d habitat

Do you have the skills needed to accept this challenge?

 

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South Korea’s Team KAIST wins 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge

 blog DARPA winner

For those waiting with bated breath for the outcome of the DARPA Robotics challenge – read all about it here

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June 1st, 2015
5:51
 

There are many funding opportunities available to those who are interested in exploring the pathways of the entrepreneur.  Here’s one to take a look at…

unitus

Here’s their newest challenge:  StartEdu 3 Application Opens on July 1, 2015.  The StartEdu Competition is a nationwide program looking to identify, mentor, incubate, and invest in the most promising early-stage education startups that are serving India’s masses.

And click the logo for a look at a past Grand Prize winner:  LabInApp

From the B. V. Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering & Technology website
“LabInApp, a CTIE start-up, participated in a competition called StartEdu by Unitus Seed Fund.  LabInApp got short-listed in top 11 educational start-ups across India. Many of these startups are from IITs and IIMs !!  In the end, LabInApp (previously Intuitive Labs) has won the StartEdu competition. And now eligible for one crore investment.”

 

What educational tech are you working on that might be marketable (and profitable) for you while bringing exciting education to the children of India?

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In case you missed this feature in April on IBM’s People for a Smarter Planet Facebook page…there’s news in the Smarter Toys world!   Educational play is still a hot topic, and the stakes are being raised with the help of some innovative uses of today’s Cognitive tech…

Check out the coverage in Forbes -

Meet The Talking Dinosaur

That’s Changing How Kids Play And Learn

 

Talking dinosaur toy

 

And IBM’s own announcements -

Podcast: THE TALKING DINO THAT’S TURNING THE TOY BIZ ON ITS EAR

Facebook post April 10, 2015: https://www.facebook.com/peopleforasmarterplanet?fref=nf

Kinda’ makes me regret being ‘all grown up’, but gives me some great ideas for birthday gifts for my little relatives…

 

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