Throughout the pandemic, we have seen numerous interesting solutions and inventions spanning the market. All these solutions aim to make the world a safer place to live in. However, it is not just giant chemical manufacturers who are contributing to the restoration of this safety to the world.
Motivated by the current situation of COVID-19, students from GEMS Founders School Al Mizhar, have worked on two projects to make the world safer.
The first of these initiatives is öryggi (Icelandic for safety), designed by Mariam Alallavi, Mohammed Ibrahim, Muhammad Zayyan Khan, Yussuf Mahfouz and Zaina Naeem.
What is Öryggi and how does it work?
The students applied their learning of computational thinking they are taught at school to bring their innovation to life and were helped by computing teachers throughout the process. Thus was born Öryggi, a cost-effective replacement for the current door handles that eliminates the risk of a potentially large number of viral diseases. It may be a more effective alternative to the current chemical-based cleaning processes.
Composed of a glass tube, the door handle is covered in a coating made from a mineral called titanium dioxide, which is ground into a fine powder. This thin coating on the glass tube can decompose bacteria via a chemical reaction that is activated by UV light. To power this LED, the door features a gearbox that harnesses the kinetic energy or movement of the door. An Arduino-based temperature sensor and led display are added to help detect the temperature of the person entering the room. It acts as an alert system similar to the current thermal sensing at schools and malls but with minimal human intervention.
The students have been able to successfully power up the LED by using kinetic energy. The door features a gearbox that harnesses the kinetic energy or movement of the door.
Besides showcasing this innovation in the in-house innovation exhibits of the school, the students are in the process of submitting this idea to the GEMS Global Innovation Challenge in the coming months. In addition, this project has been shared with Dubai Police.
Introducing Floresco - a GMA In-house production
However, Öryggi is not the only innovation from GEMS. Twenty senior students from GEMS Modern Academy have produced a range of Floresco products - hand lotions, hand sanitizers, and a bio enzyme cleanser, under the supervision of the science lab assistants.
The Floresco hand lotion, which comes in two fragrances (jasmine and lavender), was made using aloe vera grown in the school garden using aloe vera, jasmi, lavender, glycerin and stearic acid, which act as a humectants, emollient, and surfactants. It also contains shea butter, almond oil and coconut oil which are antibacterial and sated with vitamin A. The bio enzyme used jaggery and orange peels, thanks to the staff who used to deposit the peel every Sunday. The hand sanitizer uses isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, essential oils and carbomer while the bio enzyme uses jaggery , orange peels and water in the ratio of 1:3:10. The project was launched with the presence of Mr. Abdel Aziz, Director of Business Incubator.
A lot of hard work had gone into making this – collecting raw samples, a tedious extraction process, research, experimentation, numerous trials, etc., went on to make this project a success. Multiple testings were done to ensure that the ingredients were in the correct proportion, and feedback was taken from the staff to get the right fragrance and texture.
Sustainability, zero-waste, and eco-friendly living are what the Floresco project aims to instill in the minds of the younger generation and will hopefully inspire many more students to come up with green solution projects, especially during the challenges of a global pandemic.
“Every member of our Modern community contributes to better the social or physical environment for everyone. Floresco is a shining example of the involvement of our Lab Attendants who work closely with our senior students from time to time. This is their way of empowering students to look beyond the mundane and know that they too can be involved in creating useful measures to counter a niggling problem. We are very pleased with this meaningful initiative,” says Nargish Khambatta, Principal of GEMS Modern Academy and Vice President – Education at GEMS Education.
The bio enzyme will take at least one more month before it can be ready for use. Once ready, it will be used as a cleansing liquid for washrooms and floors. Both the hand lotion and hand sanitizer are kept in staff rooms and on the table of all supervisors. The school often gives it as gifts to the guests who are pleasantly surprised to receive these in-house products.
Clearly, the cleaning industry has become open to innovations from everyone - students and large scale manufacturers alike!