NFTE

World Series of InnovationWSI

Congratulations to this year's Winners and Finalists!

Here are the top competitors in the 2020-21 NFTE World Series of Innovation challenges at the end of final round judging, listed by challenge category. See all the videos submitted by winners and finalists

Bank of the West Clean Energy Challenge, SDG 7

The Challenge: Design a product, service or initiative that empowers school communities to help speed the transition to clean energy.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Micro Hydro Home, a system of small hydroelectric generators that can harness energy from waterpipes and faucets in school buildings. Submitted by 14-year-old Leyla Parsi and 15-year-old Riya Aswani, students at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. See their video
  • 2nd Place: ElectroMat, a system of floor mats that capture kinetic energy from high traffic areas such as school hallways and stairwells. Submitted by 18-year-old Cleo Lu, 17-year-old Elaine Ma, and 17-year-old Yuetong Zheng, students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. See their video
  • 3rd Place: eC02 Schools, software to help schools track their energy consumption data and analyze their carbon footprint. Submitted by 13-year-old Sahasra Yellepeddi, a student at Ereckson Middle School in Allen, Texas. See her video

Finalists

  • Hydro Turb, a system of mini water turbines in wastewater pipes that can gather energy to power school buildings. Submitted by a team of NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. See their video
  • Luminous Backpack, a wheelie backpack for schoolchildren that collects kinetic energy to be used to power devices. Submitted by team from Escuela Normal Profr. Serafín Peña in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
  • Melodia, a device that turns sound waves generated by students in noisy school environments into electric pulses. Submitted by a team from McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. See their video
  • Pasos Verdes, a system of piezoelectric tiles that can be used to harvest kinetic energy from footsteps to light school buildings. Submitted by a team from Universidad Tecnológica de Coahuila in Saltillo, Mexico. See their video
  • SmartWind Schools, a system of low-cost wind turbines that can be used to power school buildings. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See their video
  • Solar Living, an affordable solar power strip that can run lights, fans and other small items that use alternating current power. Submitted by a team of NFTE alumni from Diamond Technical Institute in Watsonville, California. See their video
  • The Clean Education Initiative, a multifaceted approach to capturing kinetic energy from school gyms and thermal energy from school cafeterias. Submitted by a team from International Academy East in Troy, Michigan. See their video

Citi Foundation COVID Recovery Challenge, SDG 10

The Challenge: Design a product, service, or initiative that can help grow the income of those hit hardest by the COVID-19 economic crisis: the lowest-earning workers.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Green Careers, a retraining program focused on finding green energy jobs for those unemployed due to COVID. Submitted by 15-year-old Vidya Balachander, a student at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See her video
  • 2nd Place: Bazaar Technologies, an ecommerce platform designed to help local small businesses struggling to compete with ecommerce giants. Submitted by 16-year-old Alice Liu, 16-year-old Claire Lantsman, 16-year-old Conor Ruane, and 17-year-old Zhao Wang, students at Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts. See their video
  • 3rd Place: Project Falcon, a "learn to code" program that matches teen developers with local small businesses in need of websites. Submitted by a team associated with the student-run nonprofit Elevate the Future, including 17-year-old Arjun Gupta of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, 15-year-old Ellen Xu of Del Norte High School in San Diego, California, and 17-year-old Rayan Garg of San Jose, California. See their video

Finalists

  • Community Ventures, a mentorship and access to capital program for emerging entrepreneurs in under-resourced urban communities. Submitted by a team from West Essex High School in Fairfield, New Jersey. See their video
  • Comunily, an ecommerce platform and consulting services designed to help local small businesses go digital. Submitted by a team from the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. See their video
  • Felixteris, a mobile app and job search service specifically for older (55+) workers facing unemployment due to COVID. Submitted by a team from the Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. See their video
  • Sense, an open source medical diagnosis and data visualization platform connecting patients, doctors and researchers. Submitted by a team from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in McLean, Virginia. See their video
  • The Food Group, a loyalty program that allows grocery store customers to earn and use rewards points to help struggling local restaurants. Submitted by a team from Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, California. See their video
  • The Safety Speaker, an innovative safety product to protect restaurant and takeout workers who have contact with customers. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See their video
  • Vaccination for the Mind, a national program that extends mental health services to children and teens in low-income families. Submitted by a team from Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey. See their video

EY Educational Equity Challenge, SDG 4

The Challenge: Design an initiative to help drive racial equity across education. Solutions could range from making equity a focus to dismantling barriers such as the digital divide.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Techquity Repairs, a computer repair business that not only offers tech support to low-income students but also trains them for employment. Submitted by 17-year-old Abby Kearny, 16-year-old Aybala Turkarsian, 17-year-old Erica Newell, and 16-year-old Kaitlyn Sauntry, all students at Eastside Preparatory School in Seattle, Washington. See their video
  • 2nd Place: EduMatch, a mentorship program to help low-income/first-generation students navigate the college application process. Submitted by 16-year-old Dashawn Sheffield, a NFTE student at North Star Academy Washington Park High School in Newark, New Jersey. See his video
  • 3r Place: Rise, a concept for an edtech company that offers free internet access and computer science instruction for minority students. Submitted by 16-year-old Shrawani Pal of the Oberoi International School in Mumbai, India. See her video

Finalists

  • Career Train, a career training and internship program. Submitted by a team from Kang Chiao International School in New Taipei City, Taipei. See their video
  • ClassAIO, a completely customizable distance learning platform that streamlines the education process. Submitted by a team from Silver Creek High School in San Jose, California. See their video
  • Classroom Cubed, a network of learning pods in urban neighborhoods where a weak infrastructure for digital learning has led to inequities. Submitted by a team from Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, New Jersey. See their video
  • Edukos, a distance learning platform designed to support and enhance a project-based learning approach. Submitted by a team from the Village School in Great Neck, New York. See their video
  • Riksiri, a sex education app that aims to reduce teen pregnancies that interrupt girls' education in rural Ecuador. Submitted by a team of 19-year-old University of Baltimore students with field experience in Ecuador. See their video
  • SocialServers, a system for donating gently used mobile devices to young learners instead of trashing them and creating hazardous waste. Submitted by a team from Sadhna Devi Vidyapith School in Muzaffarpur, India. See their video
  • UpSkill Foundation, a cloud solution for computer science instruction in rural schools. Submitted by a team from Strawberry Fields High School in Chandigarh, India. See their video

Mary Kay Textiles Upcycle Challenge, SDG 12

The Challenge: Design a product, service, or initiative that will create a "circular economy" that reduces waste by promoting clothing and textile reuse or repurposing.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Loop Tee Loop, a sustainable clothing loop uniting lyocell textile mills with uniform recycling collection services. Submitted by 21-year-old Ernest Bernstein Zarate, 21-year-old John Kevin Genova, and 21-year-old Clarence Louise Caperal, students at Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines. See their video
  • 2nd Place: SwagSwap, a social network for thrifting, enabling peer-to-peer clothing swap for teens. Submitted by 14-year-old Aairah Koujalgi, 14-year-old Bhargavi Karthikeyan, 14-year-old Diya Shah, and 16-year-old Rhea Kamkolkar, students at South Brunswick High School in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. See their video
  • 3rd Place: Project dBrand, a unique service that de-brands used uniforms so they can be upcycled. Submitted by 17-year-old Aisha Gupta and 17-year-old Twisha Chawla of California High School in San Ramon, California. See their video

Finalists

  • Drive to Dress, a clothing return system for retail customers that's allied with upcycling garment factories. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See their video
  • FiberReviver, a nonprofit that collects textile scraps and unsold uniforms to promote upcycling. Submitted by a team from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Kildeer, Illinois. See their video
  • Foster the Clothing, a nonprofit that helps children in the foster system gain work experience in a textile upcycling business. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See their video
  • ReFashion, a textile recycling approach that combines recycled fibers with sustainable virgin fibers. Submitted by a team from Syosset High School in Syosset, New York. See their video
  • ReThread, an app that gamifies garment upcycling through retail partnerships offering incentives and loyalty/reward points. Submitted by a team at Valley Christian High School in Santa Clara, California. See their video
  • Skraps, a business that helps consumers find eco-friendly and budget-friendly fashions. Submitted by a team of NFTE program alumni at San Leandro High School in San Leandro, California. See their video
  • Wove, an online community connecting eco-conscious consumers to sustainable fashion brands. Submitted by a team at Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. See their video

Mastercard Gateway for the Unbanked Challenge, SDG 9

The Challenge: Design a product or service that helps the unbanked make and receive payments, providing a gateway to improved financial access.

Winners

  • 1st Place: FinanciAll, an app that uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to create "starter" credit ratings for the unbanked. Submitted by 15-year-old Tina Mai, a student at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, California. See her video
  • 2nd Place: Safehandle, a reloadable prepaid debit card system offered through homeless shelters. Submitted by 17-year-old Ashveen Banga, 18-year-old Brett Kim, 17-year-old Caeden Mujahed, and 17-year-old Lena Luostarinen, students at Francis Parker School in San Diego, California. See their video
  • 3rd Place: CropSwap, a mobile banking platform for unbanked smallholder farming families in emerging markets.Submitted by 16-year-old Eddie Nguyen of Orangewood Academy in Garden Grove, California, and 16-year-old Hoang Tran of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. See their video

Finalists

  • Banking Buddy, a wifi-enabled handheld device that allows users to transfer or receive funds. Submitted by a team from Sunset High School in Portland, Oregon. See their video
  • Empower Microfinance, an app that gives female entrepreneurs in developing countries access to microloans. Submitted by a team from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. See their video
  • Fin-Mobile, a fleet of mobile banks bringing financial services into remote and/or underserved areas. Submitted a team from Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego California. See their video
  • MoneyLUX, a payment app fed by prepaid cards that are easily purchased through participating merchants. Submitted by a team from Freedom High School in Chantilly, Virginia. See their video
  • Pluto, an intermediate payment service that uses U2F keys to expand accessibility. Submitted by a team from Delhi Public School Dwarka in New Delhi, India. See their video
  • START-ATM, a system of ATMs that allow customers to reload prepaid debit cards with cash. Submitted by a team from Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See their video
  • Swift Technologies, a money transfer and payment system that uses a public ledger with private keys. Submitted by a team from South Brunswick High School in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. See their video

Moody's Foundation Climate Action Challenge, SDG 13

The Challenge: Design a product, service or initiative that empowers individuals or communities to take action on the problem of climate change.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Croptimize, a system of mobile robots feeding an open source datasharing platform for farmers worldwide. Submitted by 16-year-old Ashok Devireddy, 16-year-old Pranav Palleti, 17-year-old Pranav Prabhuram, and 16-year-old Shivam Pathak, students at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, California. See their video
  • 2nd Place: BioNet, biodegradable fishing nets to reduce ocean plastics. Submitted by 14-year-old Maanav Rajesh and 16-year-old Maanya Rajesh of Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. See their video
  • 3rd Place: Groundify, a line of eco-friendly products made from recycled coffee grounds to reduce greenhouse gas-producing landfill waste.Submitted by 15-year-old Arshia Narula and 17-year-old Gurnoor Narula of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas. See their video

Finalists

  • AquaFix, a solar-powered water filter and pump system. Submitted by a team of NFTE students at Diamond Technology Institute in Watsonville, California. See their video
  • EnViro Solutions, a system of environmental impact labeling for consumer products, similar to nutrition labels on food. Submitted by a NFTE student from Barnstable High School in Barnstable, Massachusetts. See their video
  • Exact Emission, software to help companies in high polluting industries track and manage their carbon footprint. Submitted by a team at Western University in Ontario, Canada. See their video
  • pTiles, piezoelectric tiles for roadways to allow vehicles to generate energy. Submitted by a team from Williston Northampton School in Bangkok, Thailand. See their video
  • Solar Mower, an eco-friendly, solar-powered lawn mower. Submitted by a NFTE student at Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford, Connecticut. See his video
  • The Circuit Shower, an in-home water recycling system. Submitted by a team from the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. See their video
  • Time Capsule, a device to combat environmental damage. Submitted by a student at Cheongshim International Academy in Seoul, South Korea. See their video

Moody's Foundation Peace & Justice Challenge, SDG 16

The Challenge: Design an innovative service, product, policy, or initiative to promote progress on equal justice and create stronger institutions for all.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Equally, a system that uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to identify implicit bias. Submitted by a multinational team including 16-year-old Moniola Odunsi of The Madeira School in McLean, Virginia, 15-year-old Rushank Goyal of Rajeev Gandhi Higher Secondary School in Bhopal, India, 15-year-old Sora Shirai of Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire, and 16-year-old Sualeha Irshad of Early College High School at Tarrant County College Southeast in Mansfield, Texas. See their video
  • 2nd Place: CityPoll, an app and interactive map that allows residents to view, discuss and vote on new policies in their town. Submitted by 16-year-old Sienna Narzarian of the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. See her video
  • 3rd Place: Asfalis, a prescription drug dispenser that manages dose quantity and timing, deterring addicts and preventing overdose. Submitted by 17-year-old Abhiram Tamvada, 18-year-old Akul Gokaram, 17-year-old Lori Khadse, and 17-year-old Manas Bommakanti, students at South Brunswick High School in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. See their video

Finalists

  • Future Thinkers of Society, an app to help young people follow current events and find community service opportunities. Submitted by a team from the Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, California. See their video
  • Human Rights for Uighurs, a campaign and related mobile appp to spread awareness of the injustice and oppression faced by Uighurs. Submitted by a NFTE student from Silver Creek High School in San Jose California. See her video
  • Paz Familia, a counseling and legal aid service to support families impacted by domestic violence. Submitted by a team of NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California.
  • Reuse to Rehabilitate, a more humane, more equitable ankle monitor made from recycled cellphones. Submitted by a student at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado. See his video
  • Stairway, a K-12 educational curriculum covering peace and justice issues globally. Submitted by a team from Carollwood Day School in Carrollwood, Florida.
  • StudentPath, a nonprofit organization offering tutoring and college prep programs to increase access to quality education. Submitted by a team of NFTE students at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California.
  • Voice for Youth, a nonprofit campaign focused on educating first-time voters and ensuring the youth voice is heard. Submitted by a team at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California.

PayPal Environmental Justice Challenge, SDG 1

The Challenge: Design a product, service, or initiative that builds the resiliency of vulnerable communities most at risk from impacts of climate change and other disasters.

Winners

  • 1st Place: EnviroFleet, a system of autonomous drones to collect and analyze geospatial data in disaster zones. Submitted by 17-year-old Daniel Gu and 17-year-old Parthiv Nair, students at Westview High School in Portland, Oregon. See their video
  • 2nd Place: CropSafe, a public-private collaborative providing crop insurance and financial services to farmers in Trinidad and Tobago. Submitted by 18-year-old Brent Piper of Presentation College and 18-year-old Amy Narine of ASJA Girls College in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. See their video
  • 3rd Place: ShoreSpectate, an app to make shoreline monitoring, water quality and ecosystem health data more accessible to the public. Submitted by 17-year-old Angela Mao, a student at Syosset High School in Syosset, New York. See her video

Finalists

  • CarboSight, an automated oil leak/spill detection and prediction system that would be placed on buoys and transport. Submitted by a team from Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, New Jersey. See their video
  • For a Cleaner World, a nonprofit focused on aiding flood-prone Alaskan villages lacking sanitation system infrastructure. Submitted by at team from Hayward High School in Hayward, California. See their video
  • Hestia Tessera, a system of drones to monitor fire threats and help combat fires in vulnerable communities. Submitted by a team from Delhi Public School Sector 45 in Gurgaon, India. See their video
  • HydroHome, durable and affordable houseboats designed to provide emergency shelter in flood-prone areas. Submitted by a team of NFTE students from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. See their video
  • PharmBook, an app to help migrants and displaced populations maintain portable and easily accessible medical records. Submitted by a team from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California. See their video
  • Portendo, a government program using satellites and geospatial data monitoring for improved response to natural disasters. Submitted by a multinational team with members from Delhi Public School Dwarka in New Delhi, India, and Dubai International Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. See their video
  • The Hydro Wheel, a GPS-enabled wheelchair equipped with a remote alert system and on-board emergency equipment to aid disabled residents of flood-prone areas. Submitted by a team from the University School of Milwaukee in Franklin, Wisconsin. See their video

PIMCO Zero Hunger Challenge, SDG 2

The Challenge: Design a solution to help food banks increase access to healthy food by reducing waste, improving mobility, or promoting sustainable and equitable food systems.

Winners

  • 1st Place: Robin Food, a bidding system to help food banks manage inventory while reducing waste. Submitted by 17-year-old Robin Ye and 17-year-old Bryan Ng, students at the Hwa Chong Institution in Singapore. See their video
  • 2nd Place: ProduceCycle, a system for managing food waste while increasing supply of fresh produce to food banks. Submitted by 16-year-old Ace Kim, a student at Northern Valley Old Tappan High School in Harrington Park, New Jersey. See his video
  • 3rd Place: Best Before, sustainably run food trucks to provide healthy, balanced meals replacing "pagpag" in impoverished communities across Manila. Submitted by 17-year-old Amarra Cabangon and 17-year-old Rolan Domingo, students at Immaculate Conception Academy in Makati City (Metro Manila), Philippines. See their video

Finalists

  • AgriKulture, a system of high-yielding urban farms to ensure the supply of fresh produce to food banks. Submitted by a team Newton South High School in Newton, Massachusetts. See their video
  • Brain Food, a solution for expanding distribution capabilities of food banks by leveraging schools and school buses. Submitted by a team from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California. See their video
  • Fruit Dash, a nonprofit designed to help match up farmers with surplus crops to food banks in need. Submitted by team from Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, California. See their video
  • NetFresh, an online platform connecting food banks to farmers so they can map supply to demand. Submitted by a team from South Brunswick High School in Kendall Park, New Jersey. See their video
  • Proyector SCAH, a nanotechnology solution for clean water supply to benefit poor communities. Submitted by a team from Universidad Tecnologica de Coahuila in Saltillo, Mexico, participants in a NFTE program run by Fundacione E. See their video
  • The Giving Truck, a fleet of solar-powered mobile food banks to circulate in communities, making resources more accessible. Submitted by a team of NFTE students from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, California. See their video
  • USmoothies, a culinary subscription service that reduces food waste and meets social benefit goals by giving back to the food insecure. Submitted by a team from the Francis Parker School in San Diego, California. See their video