Despite its stupendous growth and leadership, the Republic of Korea has yet not been a pioneer in hosting international events to bring the camaraderie of young global minds. However, Korea International Youth Olympiad–also known as KIYO–has challenged such a perspective with its recent success in the city of Hwasung, Republic of Korea.
Hosted by World Women Entrepreneurs and Inventors Association (WWIEA), a non-governmental organization founded by Ms. Mi-Young Han, this meaningful event aimed to promote the “4 I’s”: Idea, Invention, Innovation, and Intellectual property.
This year was the second year for the event, and as expected, the number of participants and projects increased. Over 500 students attended this competition, gingerly carrying their projects and poster boards to present their long-awaited works. This passionate group of inventors also included those from outside of Korea including Thailand, India, Moldova, Sri Lanka, United States, and Myanmar.
Taking place in Suwon Science University in the city of Hwasung, a city near Seoul, KIYO 2017 offered its participants with a unique opportunity to showcase the their one-of-a-kind work of genius. Valentin Valenzo, an 18-year-old student from Maldova, a country located in eastern Europe, expressed his pride and effort behind his self-made drone.
“I made this drone with my best friend,” said Valentin, carefully setting down his drone on the floor to demonstrate its flight ability. “Not only can this drone fly and film its surroundings, but it can also discern simple hand motions,” explained Valentin. At a flick of a small joystick, the agile wings of the drone whirled and took the drone high up almost to the ceiling. At the end of the competition, Valentin received a silver medal for his innovative and high-tech invention.
The comprehensive procession of this international event was enabled by months of preparation done by the staff members of WWIEA, as well as the dedicated effort put in by a number of diligent student volunteers. “This was my first time volunteering in such a big event,” said Ki-Yeon Kim, a 17-year-old student who attends a public school in Seoul. “All of us volunteers had lots of work to do and did not have much time to slack off. But it felt really good at the end of the competition when the participants were receiving their prizes during award ceremony,” said Ki-Yeon. “I felt like, ‘wow, we did it’.”
KIYO 2017 did not only provide a nurturing ground for young minds to express their talented creativity, but the competition also enabled global friendships to form. “I am happy that I’ve made so many friends here in Korea,” said Eliza Tzu, a participant from Myanmar. “They were all so friendly, and I hope to keep in touch with them even after I go back to Myanmar.”
Even though the competition only lasted for three days, KIYO 2017 left its associates with invaluable opportunities, promising potential, as well as unforgettable memories. Korea International Youth Olympiad once again proved itself to be capable of turning the Republic of Korea into a growing hub for international inventors. KIYO’s such a huge success this year is only a starting block in what is more to come for both the Korean and foreign inventors in near future.