Biomimicry Club Members Advance to Semi-Finals in National Competition

Working around the clock from their desks across the globe, four upper school students have been named semi-finalists in the prestigious BCIL Impact Challenge competition.

Dani Appiah ’22 from Ghana; Andrew Chang ’22 and George Chang ’22, both from Taiwan; and Viktoriia Sokolenko ’23 from Ukraine are all members of Masters’ Biomimicry Club. They recently entered the national humane technology competition, held by the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership (BCIL) and the Center for Humane Technology. The competition challenged students to identify solutions related to the humane and healthy use of technology and propose a solution that advances systemic change.

The group’s proposal involved the reduction of fossil fuel production and consumption by introducing an efficiency currency solution. “They advanced ideas related to addressing climate change through technology and a new energy market,” faculty advisor Courtney White explained.

White was thrilled that the team had advanced to the semi-finals and was impressed with the team’s “mutual desire for positive change. This team’s collaborative efforts were a catapult for a unique and distinctive vision.”

Appiah acknowledged the number of obstacles the students faced. “Trying to incorporate everyone’s themes and ideas into one big solution that could solve a lot of our environmental issues, being international students with different time zones, and finding the common time that worked for everyone.”

“The biggest challenge was definitely getting everyone's thoughts together and finding common ground,” Andrew added. “Because our proposal is quite new and creative, we had disagreements on the practicalities. However, I think our final proposal is both creative and practical so the conversations we had definitely were helpful.” George also enjoyed hearing the ideas from everyone because “there were so many great ones during our meetings. It was truly an eye-opening experience.”

As semi-finalists, the Masters team was asked to submit a short video of their project on May 7. Sokolenko found that to be added pressure. “We had to cut and rephrase many sentences so that the video was less than 90 seconds.”

The team finds out in mid-May if they head to the next round. As Andrew explained, “If we make it into finals, we can potentially meet with real large tech companies and tell them about our proposal.”

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