Intelligent rain sensor,hearing aid win children national science awards

Even though she goes to a school that’s miles away from her native village in Karnataka,thinking about the incessant rain in her small hamlet irritates 13-year-old Sharathi.

Written by Shikha Sharma | New Delhi | Published: October 11, 2013 12:24:37 am

Even though she goes to a school that’s miles away from her native village in Karnataka,thinking about the incessant rain in her small hamlet irritates 13-year-old Sharathi.

“Where I come from,it rains continuously. You leave the clothes out to dry,the next instant they are all wet. I hated it — so I made a rain sensor — a device that not only senses rain,but pulls an entire string of clothes to a dry place as soon as the first raindrops hit the ground.”

Sharathi’s invention helped her solve some of the problems of a remote village and also won her a national award. Children like Sharathi — 10-15-year-olds with incredible imagination and an appetite for problem solving — were presented medals by Vice President Hamid Ansari at the 3rd National-level Inspire (Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) awards in the capital on Thursday.

From managing the present energy crisis to rising levels of pollution,disaster management to economical toilets,the children presented practical,economical and efficient solutions to address some of the country’s most pressing problems.

Like 13-year-old Pratyush Maini,who has invented what’s called a ‘parasitic energy harvester’. It is a simple apparatus that uses generators and turbines to harvest friction and wind energy from a city’s transport system and produces electricity. According to Maini’s calculations,if this system was used on a large scale in Delhi,it could yield a profit of Rs 6 crore every year.

B Narsimhan,a Class X student from Andhra Pradesh,made an apparatus called ‘hearing through teeth’. It is meant to help the hearing impaired when they touch the device to their teeth.

Rohan Gupta from Mungar,whose gadget can produce electricity by jogging,won a silver medal at the function.

But where did the children get these ideas? For the regional topper Arunanand Thomas from Nagaland,it was constant news of floods from neighbouring states which prompted him to build ‘a flying house’. He used pulleys to raise houses above the water level.

Twelve-year-old Aiman Iqbal’s inability to pick an apple from the top of a tree at her grandmother’s orchard in Kashmir prompted her to create a ‘multi-fruit harvester’.

The love for creating something meaningful drives most of these students.

“Small things lead to big changes. I want to be the person who can effect that change,” says Nagashree M J (10),who won an award for exponentially increasing energy outputs from a solar panel by using a single lens.

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