|19 Jul 2023
|2023 Finalists Global Student Prize
Oliwia is from the small town of Świecie in Poland. From an early age, she was most fascinated by biology, and explored the world of science on her own by building and adding to her home library. However, this interest did not fully come to fruition until she was in primary school, when she took part in a curatorial competition in biology. Even though most of her peers did not believe that she would do well, she qualified for the final with a score of 97 per cent. This increased her self-belief, motivating her to work even harder – and as a result she has now graduated from one of the best high schools in Poland, University High School in Toruń.
With an increase in self-confidence, Oliwia also started creating her own projects, and took part in classes with students at Nicolaus Copernicus University on subjects such as anatomy, emotions, motivation, and the biological mechanisms of behaviour. During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, she began to run a YouTube channel where she shared her experience with other students, for example advising younger students on their eighth-grade exams or about choices in further education. In May 2020, she became co-leader of the course “Living Biology”, aimed at preparing primary school students for provincial biology competitions.
During high school, Oliwia has also created a number of projects aimed at improving health and quality of life. In December 2020, together with a team of friends, she started working on “Aquacollector” – a device for collecting and disposing of synthetic pollutants (such as microplastics) from water bodies. This was hard and time-consuming work, but the plastics issue captured her imagination, and Aquacollector eventually won 3rd place in the Explory Scientific Competition in Poland. In October 2021, Oliwia became the leader of the team’s biggest project yet – "Skin Preventer”, a system that uses artificial intelligence to support the diagnosis of skin lesions. Oliwia’s team continually train their neural network against new parameters so as to increase the effectiveness of the prototype and ultimately improve the quality of skin lesion care. Skin Preventer has qualified for the central stage of the Olympiad of Technical Innovation and Invention, and Oliwia is seeking to patent the technology and pursue its commercialization in the future.
Today, Oliwia’s main interest is in medical science: she intends to become a doctor, and will start her medical studies at the Medical University of Gdańsk in October 2023. If she wins the Global Student Prize, she will use the funds to help support herself through her medical education, take part in international conferences, and increase access to education and health for children from war-affected areas. She would also like to develop a device she is working on that supports the control of skin lesions. The market currently lacks such a solution – but the sooner diseases such as melanoma are detected, the greater the chance of effective treatment.