Happy finals of the II Edition of the National Contest Whoever didn’t come, really missed out.

The spirits were high, and as is usual with finals, so was the temperature. Whew! Although the halls of the Museum of Technology are surrounded by the solid walls of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, the temperature still managed to reach 30 degrees centigrade. It began rather calmly, with the greeting of the participants and laureates, and also the invited guests, by President G. Leszczyńska.
The large hall, where on 11 June 2010 the finals were held, was permeated throughout with green (see: photos from the meeting) from the T-shirts handed out to the participants and their minders by AURAEKO. The air became cosmic and ‘alieny’. The greeting tunes were played by the Bluesmaszyna blues band. With every passing moment, the temperature increased both in the literary and emotional sense, until the MC announced the presentation of the results of the contest, which was the main point of the event.

By verdict of the Jury of the “Let’s Find a Place for Electro-Waste” competition, formed of:
1. Hodun Grażyna – Vice-President of the Board of the Ecological Education Centre Foundation, Commission Member2. Stocka Joanna – methodology specialist, director of the Hugo Kołątaj XXI Secondary School in Warsaw, Commission Member

3. Pawlak Sylwia – Commission Member

4. Leszczyńska Gabriela – President of the Board of Auraeko OOSEE S A., Commission Chair.

1st Prize – a 50” LG plasma TV set with 600Hz Sub-Fields Driving technology was given to the Henryk Sienkiewicz Middle School in Szczytno and the team members received SONY MP4 players and small souvenirs from AURAEKO.

2nd Prize – a 32” Full HD LG LCD TV set with a Dolby decoder was given to the John Paul II Middle School in Pruszków and the team members received SONY MP3 players and small souvenirs from AURAEKO.

3rd Prize – a 32” Full HD LG LCD TV set with a Dolby decoder was given to the Middle School in Węgliniec and the team members received SONY MP3 players and small souvenirs from AURAEKO.

4th Prize – went to the Stefan Batory Middle School no. 18 in Białystok and the team members were rewarded with multimedia encyclopaedias PWN 2010 + USB sticks and souvenirs from AURAEKO.

It was these small souvenirs – smart, green T-shirts with their printed images of a friendly TV, an adorable mouse and a surprised light bulb that made the atmosphere in the hall so very pleasant. Undoubtedly, the smiles on the guests’ faces expressed joy but also pride. If we look at the contest results measured with the quality of the work and the amount of electrical and electronic equipment collected, it is obvious that there was a reason for that. The above-mentioned schools collected a total of about 35 tons of used electrical and electronic equipment, and the winner, the Henryk Sienkiewicz Middle School in Szczytno, contributed 9420 kg. Congratulations!

Gabriela Leszczyńska, the Chair of the Contest Commission, said: ‘…assessing the level of this year’s works, it could be said that it is high and quite equal. The Contest Commission had a lot of dilemmas with dividing up the prizes. This shows that the participants have been very involved and we, the organisers, are very glad for this reason …’

The studies conducted by the participants have shown that we still have much to do in terms of the ecological education of society. It turns out that over a half of Poles does not know what electro-waste is and how to dispose of used equipment – that it can be returned while buying new replacements or consigned to electronic waste collection sites.

Moving to a more general reflection on the finals of the contest, it is worth noting that, without excessive didacticism, more with fun and smiles the fundamental educational objectives were achieved, which could be defined as:

1. Raising the participants’ awareness of what used electrical equipment is and what the threats are of the increasing level of saturation of households with electrical and electronic equipment.

2. Increasing the awareness and an improvement in the ability to reduce the negative impact of used electrical and electronic equipment on the environment.

In congratulating the youth, one thing that should be stressed is the contribution of the teachers from the above-mentioned schools. It was down to them with their attitude and effort that gave the impulse to achieving this success. Acknowledgements are due also to the patron of the contest, LG, for its support in funding the prizes and the Ecological Education Centre Foundation for its subject-matter patronage of the contest. It is also fitting to appreciate the involvement of the entire AURAEKO team – the organiser of the contest. Bravissimo – is the apposite word, though it is not Polish in origin. May the next year’s III Edition of the National Contest “Let’s Find a Place for Electro-Waste” bring together even more involved contestants and may the finals be no less joyful than this year’s.

See the photo gallery below …