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2023 High School Winners


Composting: Build Your Solution to Food Waste

Hyunseo Kim and Yoonseo Kim

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy Aurora, IL

Hyunseo and Yoonseo are a sibling duo from Plainfield, Illinois. Yoonseo is a sophomore at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Hyunseo is a senior at Plainfield North High School with plans to attend the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the fall. They heard about the World of 8 Billion contest through their mom, and having grown up making stop-motion Lego movies together, decided to pair up for their contest video. They chose waste as their topic because they saw a clear correlation between population growth and increased waste production. It was obvious to Yoonseo that there needed to be a better way to streamline the disposal of food waste. Composting came to them as a solution early on because “composting is [a] relatively easier and approachable [solution].”

In order to make their Lego stop-animation video, they first had to agree on a storyline/plot that would be doable with the limitation of what could be built with Legos. Luckily, they were able to agree on their artistic vision. They took thousands of shots, and their video went through many stages before it was ready to be submitted to the contest. Their advice for future contest participants is to “be flexible with your video and be prepared to make a lot of changes.”

In addition to making stop-motion Lego movies together, Yoonseo and Hyunseo also share an interest in Taekwondo and a dream of going to medical school, albeit for different fields: plastic surgery and immunology respectively. In his free time, Hyunseo enjoys flying drones and playing the saxophone. Yoonseo, on the other hand, is a member of several different organizations that take up much of her time, including the Illinois Youth Neuroscience Association, Medical Honors Society, Public Forum Debate, and Health Occupation Students of America. They plan to spend their prize money together when they go to visit their family in Korea this summer.

Composting: Build Your Solution to Food Waste

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