Geniuses of Ukraine’s south: Victoria Panchenko from Nova Kakhovka

June 9,2023 886
Geniuses of Ukraine’s south: Victoria Panchenko from Nova Kakhovka

The Kakhovka HPP destruction by Russian troops caused an environmental and humanitarian disaster in Kherson Oblast. About 80 settlements have been partially or completely flooded, thus homes of tens of thousands of people. The explosion also threatened the existence of cultural monuments and tourist sites in the region.

The Ukrainian World Congress tells the stories of talented children of the Ukrainian south whose homes are being destroyed by the Russian Federation.

Victoria Panchenko comes from Nova Kakhovka, a currently partially flooded town. The girl is officially recognized as one of the smartest schoolchildren in the world. In 2021, Victoria won the World Genius Olympiad medal in the United States of America, ahead of more than 5,000 participants from 85 countries. Significantly, the Ukrainian girl received the award for cleaning rivers with the help of reeds.

“I have developed a special structure that naturally allows clean water bodies. It looks like a pontoon [floating support], on which plants are held that clean water bodies from metals, oil and various pesticides,” Victoria Panchenko explained. The project can be used on an industrial scale, Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine state.

The invention is a family job, Victoria explains. “We started the project together with my older sister. We lived in Nova Kakhovka, a city on the bank of the Dnipro River, and we had a big problem every year when the river bloomed. An unpleasant smell appeared the water turned green, and it was impossible to swim. But there is also a plant in the Dnipro where the water has always remained clean. … We were interested in why this happens, and from the works of hydrologists, we learned about the properties of plants that purify water. That’s how we came up with the idea of using plants as a filter for water purification,” the girl added.

Currently, Victoria is doing everything to implement the project in practice. The invention also helped the girl gain recognition at the international I-FEST Festival of Engineering, Science, and Technology in Tunisia and the INTARG international invention show. 

A Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine member received a $15,000 grant to study at the State University of New York at Oswego. However, the girl chose to get an education at the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv.

Photo: Suspilne Kherson, Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine