The Online Coding Challenge was organized within the "21st Century Schools" program, which is implemented in Serbia by the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Education and Technological Development, and which is financed by the UK Government.

The winning project named „Svetlosno-zvučni rasterivač ptica“ is made by Milica i Nađa, under the mentorship of teachers Stevica Janković and Mirjana Vasilijević. Second place goes to the school „Jovan Cvijić“ from Zminjak, and third place is Elementary School „Stanimir Veljković Zele“ from Bojnik.

We are glad that most of the topics of these school projects are focused on sustainable development and the presentation of work in schools as a small but important contribution to achieving the goals of sustainable development. “We need to look at schoolchildren and their projects in the context of promoting sustainable development goals, and in particular advocating for some of the issues to be addressed by the Summit of the Member States of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Glasgow in November under the title COP26”. 

Find more about projects below:

First place: Svetlosno-zvučni rasterivač ptica

The purpose of the project is to protect and preserve human property and human health from the negative impact of birds (bird droppings on residential buildings, the possibility of transmitting infectious diseases, destruction of roofs, facades, carpentry and the like by birds), but also to protect those same birds. We are witnesses that a large number of people kill birds when they land on their terraces, on the windowsills, on the roofs. People chase them first, scare them, sometimes shoot them with some objects, but if the bird settles in the building and lays eggs, it is difficult to leave that place. Then people take air rifles, put poison wheat, put glue and in that way kill birds.

Potential beneficiaries of our project are all individuals, companies and institutions that have a problem with birds, which have settled in their facility or on their facility.

The device consists of: two microbits, a motion sensor (PIR-Passive Infrared sensor), speakers, wires and power batteries.

This device can be placed on the terrace, on the sims from the window, and even on the roof. The motion sensor is directed to a certain part of the space where the birds potentially land. When the bird lands, the motion sensor responds and activates a speaker that emits sounds that will scare away the potential intruder, and the LEDs on the microbite display ANGRY BIRD.

Second place: Bezbednost u saobraćaju na putno-pružnim prelazima

The purpose of this project is: to raise awareness of responsible behaviour in traffic, to protect all participants in traffic, to develop the ability to recognize problems, to develop and emphasize activism.

As potential users, the students detected the users of the Serbian Railways and traffic participants.

The students told us the following: "By listing the problems present in the school and the local community, we chose our project. Due to the lack of traffic lights - traffic lights in the following places: pedestrian crossing near the school, highway Sabac-Loznica, no ramp and traffic lights at the level crossing the villages of Zminjak and Petlovača, where our school is located, we have recognized all of the above as key problems of our community that need to be solved as soon as possible.

The solution is easy to apply, and it is of great importance!

Third place: Matematika nije bauk

The goal of this project is to help children who find the multiplication table difficult and thus make it easier for them to learn mathematics. Possible users are all students.

This idea was realized in a way that one microbit sets easier and more difficult tasks with multiplication, while through another the user comes up with solutions by adding units, tens, hundreds and thousands.

In his introductory address to the audience, Peter Brown, Director of the British Council for the Western Balkans, said: „Theoretical knowledge and information are less and less important if you do not have the skills and knowledge to use them and adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances that we witness every day. Digital literacy goes hand in hand with critical thinking and problem solving. That is why we donated microbits to all primary schools in Serbia, in order to support and encourage students to learn programming at a very early age and to be better prepared for the next level of schooling and finally for looking for a job. Today's competition is one of the ways to encourage students to be more involved in programming and sustainable development and to try to solve real community problems. We are always happy when we have the opportunity to see how innovative our students are and we admire their practical and applicable ideas.”

Rebecca Fabrizi, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Serbia, also attended the competition and award ceremony. She congratulated the winners, but also all the participants in this competition, and expressed her special satisfaction with the selection of topics for student projects: „You worked as a team. You have paired your imagination with knowledge and digital skills. You have crossed the path that all innovators go - and used new skills to turn your ideas into something new and useful. By solving problems in your school or neighborhood, you have shown that you are young leaders who are wondering. This year, the United Kingdom will host the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP 26, and we hope that world leaders will be as ambitious and committed as you are.“

Branko Ružić, Minister of Science, Education and Technological Development said: „A difficult year is behind us, we did our best not to miss anything in education regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud that not only did we not stop and give up, but we managed to develop new skills, acquire new knowledge and develop new projects."