Ten groups of secondary school students from across Spain have reached the semi-final of the third Efigy Competition. From today until Sunday 9 May, videos of the semi-finalists’ projects will be available on the Naturgy Foundation website (Efigy Competition), where the public will be able to vote for their favourite during the first phase. The competition panel will take into account the result of this vote, in addition to its own professional and technical assessments of the projects.
The semi-finalist schools are located in seven autonomous communities: Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia, the Community of Madrid, the Valencian Community, Galicia and La Rioja.
This year’s competition will be brought to a close with a gala on 12 May at 12 pm, presented by educational scientist Luis Quevedo. The event will be available on the Foundation’s website (www.fundacionnaturgy.org).
In October, the Naturgy Foundation launched the third Efigy Technology Competition. Over the school year, around 570 groups of 3rd and 4th year secondary students have worked on over one hundred projects together with their teachers at 67 schools located in seven autonomous communities: Aragon, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia, the Community of Madrid, Galicia, the Valencian Community and La Rioja.
María Eugenia Coronado, managing director of the Naturgy Foundation, expressed her great satisfaction with the success of this year’s competition and the high level of the projects submitted. “We want to use this initiative to promote the development of new technology skills and young people’s ability to work in a team, communicate their projects and carry them out,” explained Coronado. This competition is framed within the current context of the energy transition “in which innovation and the development of energy technology is going to be crucial to achieve decarbonisation objectives for the planet,” stated Coronado.
Below are the semi-finalist schools and projects:
- Colegio de Fomento Sansueña, Zaragoza: ‘Solar car’ project on electrical technology applied to cars and their environmental impact compared to fuel-powered cars. The project examines the use of batteries linked to solar panels with the secondary option of a plug to charge the internal battery. The students have highlighted the social and environmental benefits of using electric cars and their possible applications by the community and business.
- Colegio Sagrado Corazón, Guadalajara: ‘Efficient sunshade’ project. The students have developed an “energy” sunshade prototype that can generate electricity from solar and wind energy. They have also performed an economic analysis of the cost involved in implementing the prototype and the benefits that could be obtained from putting it into use. These benefits include using renewable energy in areas that lack efficient and environmentally-friendly power generation.
- Colegio FEDAC, Lleida: ‘Thermal and acoustic insulation from straw’ project, which involves research into the benefits of insulating with organic and reusable materials. The project analysed straw as a construction material and the energy savings that its use could generate.
- Colegio FEDAC, Lleida: ‘Energy innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals' project. Students examined installing a system that can collect rainwater and generate electricity using turbines located in the actual water pipes. The ultimate aim is energy and economic savings.
- IES Francisco Giner de los Ríos, Alcobendas: ‘Air quality in classrooms’ project. Students’ research proposed solutions that would ensure the air quality in their school meets the standards set by the healthcare authorities due to the pandemic, while still retaining thermal comfort and preventing the waste of energy resources. The ultimate goal is to avoid expenditure on unnecessary heating while helping to protect the environment at the same time.
- Colegio Àgora Lledó, Castellón: ‘Energy efficiency using renewable energy accumulators’ project. After analysing how energy use could be improved at their school, the students’ project proposes installing renewable energy accumulators to separate the generation and consumption of clean energy, thereby decongesting the networks.
- Colegio San José HFI, Valencia: ‘B’eco app’ project. The students propose an app for mobile phones and tablets that they use to emphasise the importance of taking advantage of new technology for their study on pollution by the food industry. The project’s goal is to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted by transport and consumption, and the ecological impact of this sector. Students have analysed regulatory policies on CO2 to find ways to adapt them and encourage an efficient reduction in emissions with recommendations for both the general public and the state.
- Colegio Fomento Montespiño, Culleredo: ‘Energy efficiency in a pandemic’ project. Due to current concerns in classrooms about Covid-19, the students have developed a research project to analyse the most efficient way to ventilate classrooms to renew the air while also assessing heat loss. The students have also drawn up a possible environmental and economic sustainable energy plan for the school.
- Colegio Manuel Peleteiro, Santiago de Compostela: ‘Ten points for a sustainable school’ project. This project analysed different sustainable energy measures that could be implemented at the students’ school in the future. The proposed measures include installing a smart lighting system using floor tiles, a rainwater collection system and transforming the school’s green zones into vegetable patches and gardens. The goal is to reduce and optimise energy consumption, and to raise student awareness so that they behave in the most sustainable way possible inside and outside the classroom.
- Colegio San Agustín, Calahorra: ‘Coal&Beer’ project. This project uses energy innovation and proposes taking advantage of cereal waste generated by beer production. The students have analysed whether cereal waste is a good product for manufacturing activated charcoal and therefore whether it is suitable for use as a raw material to produce renewable energy. They performed a thorough analysis to identify the characteristics of this new, fibre-rich ingredient and studied whether or not it could be an effective technique for use within the framework of the energy transition.
Closing gala on 12 May
At the closing event, the semi-finalists, Foundation representatives and members of the expert panel will all be connected. The panel is comprised of Imma Aguilar, managing director of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) under the Ministry of Science and Innovation; Ruth Carrasco, consultant at the Ecological Transition Institute at the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO); Marina Villegas, institutional delegate of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Núria Rodríguez, director for the Environment and CSR at Naturgy; and María Eugenia Coronado, managing director of the Naturgy Foundation.
The panel may ask students for additional explanations during the online event, to expand on the explanations given in the project videos.
To take part in the competition, students had to find the solution to a challenge that would help improve the planet through energy efficiency. This educational activity aims to motivate and raise awareness and interest in energy, strengthen the research ability of young people and inspire curiosity and creativity, while developing teamwork and communication skills.
The Efigy Technology Competition is part of the Efigy Education programme, which the Naturgy Foundation uses to provide students and schools with an extensive educational catalogue in the field of climate change and new energy technologies. Its work in education has been recognised by and involves the collaboration of leading institutions in the fields of education and research, such as the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology and the Spanish National Research Council.