May 16, 2024

Igniting Young Minds

The 13th edition of St Jude’s Science Day showcases solutions for sustainability, efficiency, and environmental awareness.

Proud Innovators: A bean sorting machine was one of the projects on display during Science Day at St Jude’s.

It’s a chilly April morning at St Jude’s Smith Campus. There are no classes today. Instead, the campus transformed into a vibrant hub of innovation, the halls filled with tables displaying a huge variety of incredible work from the students.  Over in the school’s dining hall, visitors, staff, students, guests, and even a local news station gather for the official opening of St Jude’s 13th Annual Science Day. 

“Today is a special day that brings together our entire community to celebrate innovation and creativity,” says Mr Tsingay, St Jude’s Secondary School Headmaster in his opening speech. “Over 50% of our secondary school students are pursuing science subjects. Today, we will see first-hand how they turn their ideas into solutions,” he adds. 

Following the opening ceremony, Mr Tsingay invited everyone to explore the diverse projects and engage with the innovators. Projects included generating electricity out of potatoes, an automatic earthquake sensor, a solar-powered mower, a vacuum cleaner, and even a clever mouse trap from St Jude’s primary school students. 

“What do you do with your bar of soap when it gets too small?” asks Marko, pitching his soap recycling prototype. “The most common solution is to simply throw it away. But we have developed a soap recycling machine that could save you on resources and money while conserving the environment,” he adds.

Step by Step: Marko demonstrates how his soap recycling machine works.

Marko then proceeds to demonstrate how his prototype works, which involves grinding the soap leftovers, followed by boiling, chemical disinfection, and eventually cooling the final product into a ‘new’ bar of soap.

Since the first Science Day 13 years ago, students have set the bar higher and higher, coming up with innovative and creative solutions to challenges that they or their communities encounter in real life. At this year’s Science Day, students have capitalised on the rise of technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop customised and highly efficient prototypes.

One such project is the “Bean Sorting Machine” designed to reduce workload for farmers by automating the painstaking process of sorting and cleaning crops. 

“One of the biggest challenges for farmers is maintaining the quality of their products through an efficient and consistent sorting process,” says Veronica, one of the innovators of the project. To address the challenge, Veronica and her team designed and built a machine that could efficiently sort up to 150 kilograms in an hour. 

“Potential updates to our machine include incorporating AI and laser technology to improve its efficiency in removing impurities,” explains Veronica. 

Another highlight of the day was the creative application of art in conserving the environment through the recycling and reusing of waste products. Students turned discarded plastics, worn-out clothes, and even wood scraps into decorative items in a beautiful “trash-to-treasure” display.

Rhino-seum: A life-sized rhinoceros made from recycled tires standing guard at Science Day.

The Science Day is a platform from which our students demonstrate their keen understanding of science principles to address problems they see around them, and we have seen outstanding ideas emerge from this school event over the years.  This year’s Science Day was partly sponsored by Edgar, an award-winning St Jude alum and founder of a start-up that recycles plastic waste into useful construction materials. Edgar showcased his prototype of plastic bricks at a St Jude’s Science Day as a student and continued to refine his idea to eventually launch his own company. 

“When we started the Science Day competition 13 years ago, most projects were just made out of wood and glass” reflects Mr Mcharo, St Jude’s Academic Senior Manager. “Today, our students are demonstrating working models and turning their ideas to businesses. It’s a testament to the power of innovation and the opportunities brought alive by St Jude’s holistic approach to education,” he adds proudly.

St Jude’s provides an environment for students to cultivate their creativity to develop solutions. Donate Today.

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