Learning 10 Jan 2023

Grade 11 team named top 3 in sustainability challenge; Emilee L. shares more

By CIS Communications
Photograph by CIS Communications

How can Singapore work towards a greener future? As part of Green Nudge’s “Beyond the Green” challenge, four CIS grade 11 students presented their sustainability proposal to a professional judges’ panel that included Senior Minister of State for National Development, Mr Tan Kiat How. Even though our students were some of the youngest participants, they were in the top 3 finalists!

Emilee L. Jareth N., Ashna K., and Sarah R., all DP geography students, were thrilled when they first heard about the challenge from our alumni Terri L., who works in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Emilee shared why. “We discuss the importance of sustainable development in class constantly, and this project allowed me to expand my understanding of the topic in a meaningful way. The seminars encouraged innovation, which helped push me outside of my comfort zone.”

The four CIS students soon signed up and embarked on the three-week project. Joining over 40 participants from other schools, they attended seminars to learn about Singapore’s sustainability issues, which include a reliance on imports, and the ongoing search for renewable energy sources. They were then tasked to develop unique solutions that went beyond Singapore Green Plan 2030.


After in-depth research and discussions, the team came up with the “Circular Food Web”, a multi-pronged approach to food waste disposal. This innovative plan included Smart Bins in housing estates, an incentive system that rewards households who have less waste, AI technology to map efficient waste collection routes, and more.

While the ideation process went smoothly, Emilee said that they met one of their biggest challenges during their presentation when they heard the judges question their plan’s feasibility. This presented a unique learning opportunity.

“The critical feedback encouraged us to find more realistic solutions, and to better support our ideas with data and past case studies,” she said. “It was important for us to be open-minded and flexible in our thinking.”


Interacting with students from other schools was also invaluable in helping her widen her perspective. She also found it exciting to have their pitch heard by leaders in the field, who could give them honest advice.

These experiences helped the team refine their proposal - one which eventually emerged as one of the top 3. “Knowing that our idea was competitive enough to gain recognition out of more than 10 proposals was an amazing feeling.”

They were rewarded for their winning idea with vouchers, and an exciting internship opportunity with Green Nudge, where they will collaborate with like-minded peers on business development, marketing and communications for sustainability initiatives.

As someone who used to pass on opportunities like these as she felt underqualified, Emilee was happy to share what she had learnt, “Take all and any opportunities given to you. While it might initially seem like you won’t be successful, many of these opportunities may prove fruitful!”