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RetoTech Endesa Foundation recognises the work of young entrepreneurs

Betting on young talent and innovation through technology is the basis of the RetoTech awards, which assess the best technological projects of the participating schools.

Student explaining to Borja Prado her project during the event

“Being able to give to other people what they don’t have and what we take for granted every day, inspires us to create more projects like this one”. These are the words of María Ramiro, from the Colegio Europeo de Madrid, one of the 700 students that took part in the second edition of the RetoTech_Fundación_Endesa Festival, organised by the Endesa Foundation and the Community of Madrid.

Over a period of 6 months, 1,500 secondary school students from 51 public, private and state-subsidised private schools, were “challenged” to design their integrated robotics apps with the aim of addressing a particular school requirement, providing solutions for social problems or improving the quality of life of people in some way.

Promoting technical knowledge among youngsters and supporting technological innovation in schools are the main objectives of this initiative. The 51 centres selected from among 126 that submitted entries, were provided with robotics kits and 3D printers to carry out their projects thanks to RetoTech Fundación Endesa.

Teamwork and the task of organising various ideas, were the main challenges the students had to face when preparing their projects, as pointed out by Paola Benito, from the San Patricio School. “At first, we had lots of ideas on the table and we had to really organise ourselves to use all our knowledge to create this project”, she stated. “We have certainly learnt what teamwork is all about”. In technical terms, “connecting the app and making it work” was one of the main challenges they came across, according to some of the participants.

“We have certainly learnt what teamwork is all about.”

Paola Benito, student from the San Patricio School

Improving weaknesses identified in their own educational centres, such as accessibility, was one of the issues that captured the attention of these young talents. Recycling in the classroom was also very popular among students, seeking to protect the environment and they see it as a basic duty within the schools and for society in general.

The use of reflective vests with incorporated LED lighting is possible thanks to the project created by the students from the Nuestra Señora del Buen Consejo School, who focused on the importance of road safety for cyclists and for drivers. “The aim of this vest is not only to save more lives and to prevent more accidents with cyclists, we also want to promote the use of bicycles”, stated Álvaro Molina, one of the young representatives from the centre attending the event.

some photos of the students at the event with their projects

Concern for social inequalities was also present in this edition of the RetoTech. Such is the case of the ION charitable project from the Colegio Europeo de Madrid, which was awarded the Endesa Foundation Award, chosen by the jury. “We want to improve the lives of people that do not have access to the same resources as us”, explained María Ramiro, who, together with her colleagues, created an app capable of directing windmill blades and generating electricity for a village in Tanzania.

The Redes Award, granted to the project that receives the most votes on the RetoTech_Fundación_Endesa website, went to the “El Conde Orgaz del futuro” app from the Conde Orgaz Institute, designed to optimise the process of obtaining solar energy. And lastly, this edition’s Endesa Employee Award, chosen by the company’s employees during the event, went to the “Mobile mechanism laboratory” from the Santa Francisca Javier Cabrini School, which focuses on interactive learning.

 “These initiatives are excellent for teaching young students how to tackle challenges and to develop important projects such as these”, commented Dionisio Fernández, a teacher at the Ciudad de los Ángeles Secondary School. But it is not an easy road, “you have to constantly battle against the lack of motivation of some students. You cannot simply tell your students that you are giving up because it doesn’t work. You have to be sure that they are going to do it”.

“These initiatives are excellent for teaching young students how to tackle challenges and to develop important projects such as these.”

Dionisio Fernández, profesor del I.E.S Ciudad de los Ángeles

Collaborating in the creation of a better future for everyone is one of our main objectives. This is why, at Endesa, we believe in the talent of new generations and we encourage them to get involved in seeking solutions for current social problems, rewarding them for their hard work, dedication and encouraging them to look after our environment.

More information at http://www.fundacionendesa.org/

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