GEMS World Academy students, global winners of DECA Idea Challenge 2015

Winning project ‘The Shades’ presents innovative and simplistic sun shelter for labourers and construction workers

DECA Idea Challenge 2015 saw 2,230 team submissions from 8,456 students around the world

Dubai, UAE: Four grade 8 girls from GEMS World Academy Dubai have emerged as global winners of the DECA Idea Challenge 2015.

The competition received over 2,230 team submissions from 8,456 students around the world. Matilda Siri, Mada Otte, Joelle Hull and Danielle Long were proclaimed world champions of the high school category.

The DECA Idea Challenge is an energising, experiential exercise that dares elementary through college students worldwide, to generate an innovative and sustainable new use for a commonplace item. They then have to pitch their idea in a 3-minute YouTube video presentation – all in eight days. This year’s item was cardboard boxes.

The team from GEMS World Academy team, encouraged by their design teacher Simon Kuznetsov, looked for innovative ideas that would really benefit people’s lives; and came up with ‘The Shades, a sun shelter aimed at labourers and construction workers in Dubai.

Living in the UAE, the girls were inspired by the numerous news stories in the local press about how up to 10 people per day suffered heat stroke, as they would be working out in the sun.

“After experimenting during lunchtimes and after school with different ways in making the shelter, the students finally developed an inter-locking design which was successful, using only cardboard and a few meters of string which would tie the pieces together.

They also produced a small card model so they could explain to others how to build the structure,” said Kuznetsov.