A team of IT students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) have been crowned winners of the College’s Expo Challenge 2022 for their innovative enterprise for repurposing electronic waste.
E-Team, Ben Angelone (Glenavy), Finley Houston (Dromara), Parsa Mohammaditari (Carryduff) and Ryan Parker (Lisburn) from the Level 3 National Extended Diploma in IT – IT Professional, Lisburn Campus, faced a Dragon’s Den-style final alongside nine other teams – shortlisted from more than 400 across SERC – to clinch the coveted winner’s title for the SERC Expo Challenge 2022.
Speaking about E-Team’s win, Parsa said, “We are super excited to have won the Expo Challenge. We weren’t expecting to win as the competition was fierce and there were many brilliant ideas and presentations on the day, but we guess our idea hit a note with the judges.”
He added, “Our project was about raising awareness of electronic waste and how it could be repurposed to save it from landfill. As well as advising people how to dispose of e-waste responsibly, we presented a number of ideas for repurposing old phones including using some only for monitor, or as an MP3 player or one that could be repurposed to play videos only. It means, for example, a parent could happily pass on a repurposed phone to a child so they could play music only and would not have access to the full capabilities of a mobile beyond their age group, thus keeping them safe.”
Parsa concluded, “Taking part in the Enterprise Challenge has been a brilliant introduction to SERC and to our possibilities as students. I cannot believe some of us have only been here a month! Our tutor Caroline Boyd has been supportive, and we are looking forward to taking our ideas forward to their full potential with the Entrepreneurs Club here at SERC.”
Two Runner Up places were awarded. Sea Weed Seed Bombs, created by Claire Kelly (Newcastle) and Peter Mooney (Castlewellan), from the Access Level 3 Diploma in Foundation Studies at the College’s Newcastle Campus were praised for their innovative project which uses dead seaweed to help aid biodiversity. Megan McShane (Lurgan), a student on the Ulster University Foundation Degree in Mechatronic Engineering at Lisburn Campus, impressed the judges with her STEM Launchers project which teaches young children about STEM subjects in a fun, do-it-yourself kit that promotes recycling and learning.
Besides the glory of the coveted title, the winners each received an iPad whilst the Runners Up received wireless earphones. The winning teams also received goodie bags kindly donated by Decathlon.
Stefanie Campbell, Deputy Head of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at SERC said, “The Expo Final really showcases the incredible work that takes place behind the scenes by our students and staff here in SERC, and how Project Based Learning and entrepreneurship are at the heart of what we do.
“Over 400 projects were narrowed down to just 10 finalists, which was no easy task. The finalists all performed exceptionally, and everyone was bowled over by the quality of their projects, their presentation skills, and the confidence they showed presenting to our panel of judges, which to add to the pressure, was also live streamed.”
Stefanie concluded, “We are grateful to our fantastic judges for giving their time, and also colleagues from across the College who helped to make the event such an amazing success.”
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