In March 2023, five student teams stepped onto the stage at the Globe of Science and Innovation to showcase their technological solutions to global problems: from tackling waste disposal in Italy, to hand pump borehole monitoring in Sub Saharan Africa, to mapping flood levels in real time in San José in California, USA.
IdeaSquare has helped these young innovators through organising online challenge-based innovation (CBI) workshops, allowing teams to build prototypes and develop their projects into a reality. These students were the finalists of Crowd4SDG, an EU-funded project in which CERN has been a key partner, with a focus on how citizen science and crowdsourcing tools can be used to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This is just one example of the CBI workshops offered by IdeaSquare, which currently co-designs and runs over 22 project-based student courses with international universities. IdeaSquare, in collaboration with Crowd4SDG, developed a handbook as a guide to CBI workshops for citizen science, designed to help others’ organise such events.
IdeaSquare will form part of the upcoming CERN Science Gateway offerings, scheduled to open its doors in October 2023. The space will now adapt the lessons learned through Crowd4SDG and other experiences and apply them to future workshops for the public. As part of CERN Science Gateway, IdeaSquare will hold monthly workshops and masterclasses to visiting students, centred around topics such as science, sustainability and future thinking. In addition to workshops, IdeaSquare will also offer monthly visits to the space, showcasing the experiments and prototyping taking place. The student programme final gala will also be held at the Science Gateway later this year.