Accelerator Workshop – Salda 2.0

The project that allows teenagers to bring their ideas for city development to life was developed by the Higher Technical School (city of Tula) on the initiative of Mikhail Shelkov’s Empathy Charitable Foundation and the VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation. The best youth engineering projects for the development of Verkhnyaya Salda were selected.

For 9 months, 54 school pupils worked on their projects aimed at the development of Verkhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Salda. As a result, the competition commission reviewed 9 projects in 4 spheres: Creative Spaces, Smart City, Information Technology & Robotics, and Eco-Biotech.

Many students joined the accelerator without having much experience in working with complex information technologies. A few examples include the team “The Drones”, who presented a project for the monitoring and primary analysis of emergency situations; the team “Svetlyachok”, with a smart street lighting project; or the team “All inclusive”, who developed a VR simulator model for the profession of a blacksmith. Its participants believe that using VR and AR simulators in the process of career guidance for students allows for more effective presentation of the peculiarities of the professions they might choose in the future.

The project “Discover Salda” sparked great interest among the jury members. The “AR-TEAM Technology” team created a tourist website about Salda, with elements of augmented reality. As the team leader Ekaterina Evstigneava explained: “Situated in Verkhnyaya Salda, is the largest titanium plant in Russia, VSMPO-AVISMA, which attracts many specialists from other regions and countries. However, there is not a single interesting source of information about Salda, where tourists can get all the necessary and exciting information they need. The city has many interesting places, we have a rich history, and we want people who come to visit us to know about it. We have also provided an English version.”

An innovation for creating street art objects was proposed by the participants of the “Innovative Workshop” team. They developed a model of an LED modular constructor that allows easy and quick creation of various figures using a special mounting system.

The founder of the Empathy Foundation, Mikhail Shelkov, congratulated the school pupils from Salda on their victory and was pleased with how many interesting ideas the young people showcased. “Supporting young talents is one of the most important goals of the foundation’s work. This year, the accelerator was held in Salda for the first time, but after such a successful start, I would like for us to conduct programs and competitions for pro-active and talented young people in other regions as well.”

The jury members included representatives from the VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, Verkhnyaya and Nizhnyaya Salda administrations, and invited experts, including Dmitry Algazin, the rector of VTS, and Vadim Samoylov, founder of the rock band Agata Kristi and head of the project, to create a creative cluster in Yekaterinburg. The latter will become a mentor to one of the teams and will help the young people realize their ideas.

After active discussions, the jury selected the winning projects: Fire monitoring by the team “The Drones”, School Boiling Point in Verkhnyaya Salda by the “KReDo” team, the career guidance application VR_Formula by the “All inclusive” team, and the “Discover Salda” project by the team “AR-Team”. They will receive methodological and financial support from Mikhail Shelkov’s Empathy Charitable Foundation, the VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation as well as VTS.

After the results were announced, the participants received prizes and gifts from Empathy and VTS: free subscriptions to educational lectures from Radio Arzamas; a demonstrative Science Slam battle from graduate students and teachers of TSPU named after L.N. Tolstoy, Andrey Ugarov and Elena Shushunova; and a celebratory cake.