In Recognition of a CAStar
Posted 02/06/2017 10:50AM

In Recognition of a CAStar

One of our HS students Doyoun Yu of grade 11 is in the news. He is the leader of InSIGHT Science club. This stands for International Scientific Idea Generating High School Tech-club.

For his CAS project he and some of his friends have been able to design a nose mask that will be used to filter harmful toxins from air. His target is the young men who work at salvaging e-waste material at Old Fadama (a slum area popularly known as "Sodom & Gomorrah) in Accra. This work poses a huge health risk but Doyoun wanted to do something about the situation. He saw a need and decided to address it.

Here is one of his CAS reflections:
Today we started new project: a hydro purification mask. Basically it uses water as a filter, and we will be going to make them and provide to the people in Agbogbloshie. I quickly made one prototype with clay, bottle, and hose to the lab members, and test some filterability out and find problems with it. We burned some papers with incomplete combustion in fume chamber so that more gas comes out, and place the filter in the chamber and inhale the gas through the hose. As a result, the filter decreased the rate of the fume, however, still test subject (Luke) could "taste" the fume. By decreasing the size of the output holes in the water filter to break bobbles down into smaller pieces, principally, increasing the rate of purification is possible.

After the prototype was made it had to be put to the test. In spite of earlier caution about possible security risks, Doyoun decided to personally go to Abogbloshie because he was bent on executing his experiment. So he went without his team.

Another reflection says:
So, when I went to the place, I could directly smell the burning plastic, that I usually smelled when I made a wrong circuit board that caused short. I could see some people boiling oil, some people burning plastic. Firstly, I met people, including Yaro to ask for their feedback about the filter. Most of them were saying it is comfortable, even though I wanted some harsh criticism so that I can fix some of the problem belong to the filter. I was amazed by the interest that workers showed about my project. One of them were saying that "Lot of foreign people comes to this place for interview, and saying that they will provide help soon, but no one did. But you gave us the technology that we can use easily. Thank you." That sentence made me to think about the obligation of the engineer. Also, I directly went to the spot where people burns the cable to see whether it actually filters the fume till people cannot feel the toxin, and it filtered pretty well. Additionally, I explained the mechanism of the filter, as simple as I could for the every individuals in the workplace could understood it, and emphasized that why using this filter is so crucial and beneficial for the community. I gave one of my filters to the community so that they can copy or even remodel as they want for mass production or individual customization. After I gave them the filter, more than 5 people stick together to see the mechanism of it. That made me happy, because I felt some sense of kinship in curiosity and inquiry. That was a good experience.

Doyoun has done LCS proud. The e-waste guys will forever be grateful. We honor him for his vision. He is an example of what CAS as a concept stands for in the IB program. Great job. Keep it up.

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