Schoolchildren’s contest “People Need You!” consists of several stages. During the first stage, children apply for participation and then develop and implement their projects. This year, they could bring their ideas to life during the annual nationwide volunteer event “Spring Week of Kindness”, which began on April 16. In May, they showcased their completed projects during the final stage of the event. The organizers see “People Need You!” as less of a competition and more of an educational program that allows children to learn how to help others and contribute to society.

During the contest, students attended lectures on planning, development, and implementation of social volunteer projects. Head of the Center for Social Design and Entrepreneurship Andrey Zlenko and the Center’s manager Yuri Kuporosov were responsible for the educational part, while PR specialist Anastasia Volkova conducted lectures on how to promote your project in social media.

The contest was organized by ITMO University’s Student Volunteer Center and supported by St. Petersburg’s Education Committee. But what makes this year’s contest truly special is that it was organized solely by volunteer students from ITMO University with the help of the Center for Social Design and Entrepreneurship. Thanks to the contest, a new team of volunteer students was formed at ITMO University.

Team In Good Hands from School 292 took the first place. The children developed a website for the Galkino Podvorie animal shelter and presented this website to high school students.

A team from 316 School took the second place with their project on fire safety. The children came up with a test that allows for the evaluation of students’ knowledge of fire safety, and a game that can be used to train the skills acquired during the test. The results of the test indicate that many schoolchildren have a rather high level of knowledge of fire safety, but the main purpose of the project was to hone their practical skills. The team also plans to develop a more specific test and come up with more efficient memorization techniques.

A project called “Your Opportunity” from a team representing the Peterhof Gymnasium of Emperor Alexander II also took the second place. The kids created a website where they posted information about various educational events in St. Petersburg. All the data was collected from the Internet. Each member of the team was responsible for one particular area, such as creative competitions, project contests, lectures, courses, etc., and there was also one programmer in the team who was responsible for creating the website. Over the summer, they plan to move their website to a good hosting platform and improve it further, so that it will become even handier and informative. Apart from that, they want to encourage more school students to take part in such events.

Anastasiia Sorokina, a member of the team, says that this contest is a great opportunity to acquire teamwork skills, and it also helped her to realize that it’s not that difficult to bring your ideas to life; the most important thing is to come up with a good idea and motivate your team.

A team from 612 School with their project called “Volunteer’s Path” took the third place. The kids came up with a game that lets schoolchildren learn more about volunteering. In the game, players can help different groups of people, from children to elderly people, take part in various ecological initiatives and find out what kind of volunteering is best for them.

When participating in the project, students acquire communication and teamwork skills, noted Andrey Zlenko, head of the Center for Social Design and Entrepreneurship at ITMO University.

“This year, there were quite a lot of IT projects. Schoolchildren redard ITMO as one of the leading universities in the field of IT, and the participants of this contest are our potential students”, said Andrey Zlenko.

“The University’s popularity is increasing with each year and there are more and more motivated students who want not only to implement their projects, but also to contribute to society. Many of them want to enter ITMO University in the future. That’s why it is important for them to show their skills and get some advice on their projects”, added Alena Stepanischeva, a manager at the Department for the Development of Student Initiatives.