Morrigan Irwin, and Lucas Jørgensen from Kristiansand International School were recently in Stockholm for the international Junior Water Price. They won the Norwegian final earlier this year and now sharing their experience from participating in Stocholm.
Our trip to Stockholm was an amazing experience that we are so grateful to have experienced. On our first night, we met all the contestants that would be there for the weekend as well as the fantastic staff that would be looking after us for the rest of the week. Ania and her team; Abigail, Lily, Rada and Elias; were so kind and helpful throughout the whole trip.
Each day had a variety of activities that were scheduled for us to do. The countries were split into two diverse groups. We got a whole city tour, had public interviews as well as private interviews. There were also a lot of bonding activities such as bowling, eating dinner, and spending our free time together. By the end of the trip it was like we were all a big family, everyone was extremely welcoming and friendly and the diversity in culture seemed to bring everyone closer.
On the first day we went to the StockH2Olm exhibition to set up our posters. We then had a very comprehensive city tour which took us through the old town as well as past the palace and the parliament buildings. We then had live interviews at the StockH2Olm venue on stage and answered questions from the public by our posters. That evening we went out for dinner at the Downtown Camper.
On Sunday we checked out of the hotel and returned to the StockH2Olm exhibition to answer questions by our posters. We moved to our second hotel and that evening we met the rest of the countries that would be participating in person. We had dinner and some networking games.
The Monday morning and early afternoon were spent at Norra Latin having interviews from the jury, the jury was split into three groups and interviewed 3 countries then had a discussion and had the opportunity to call in any country for additional questions. We waited for our interview in a wonderful and comfortable room the competition sponsor Xylem had set up for us, including beanbags, snacks, coffee, and tea. Our interview consisted of us presenting our project as well as questions from the jury.
On Tuesday morning we had a tour of Xylem where we got our own badges, and were split into groups of A, B, C and D. Each group got to look at the engineering and IT departments as well as get a presentation about Xylem as a company, what they do and who they collaborate with.
After our tour of the Xylem facilities, we returned to the hotel to get ready to meet the princess. We all met in the lobby before we walked to Norra Latin for the evening. It was so nice to see everyone dressed up, and ready for an eventful night. When we arrived at the venue we found our flags in the poster rooms and were given instructions on how meeting the princess would play out. Meeting HRH Crown Princess Victoria was such an honour and we feel so privileged to have had this experience.
We then continued to start the flag parade into the ceremony. The award ceremony consisted of 3 prizes, two of which were handed out by HRH Crown Princess Victoria. The UAE won the people’s choice award, Brazil won the Diploma of Excellence prize, and Canada won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. All of these countries had amazing projects that deserved to win and we are so happy for their achievements.
We spent the rest of the evening at a formal dinner and then went back to the hotel to continue the celebrations.
On our final day we visited KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology) and got split into groups for tours around their various labs. We then had an insightful session at World Water Week about closing the gender gap and empowering the next generation. We then spent our final evening visiting Skansen open-air Museum and seeing what Xylem is doing to solve water problems there. We had dinner and said our goodbyes. Then us contestants ended the night with goodbye celebrations at the hotel.
Overall this was an amazing experience that felt like so much more than just a competition. We really appreciate this amazing opportunity to meet so many amazing people and see so many amazing things.
– Travel letter by, Morrigan Irwin & Lucas Jørgensen.