The much-awaited third edition of Maker Faire Bengaluru did not just witness brilliant innovations and working prototypes from engineers, artists, scientists, crafters and makers, but school students as well!
Part of the Bengaluru Tech Summit, the innovation fair was hosted at Bengaluru Palace on November 17 and 18, and despite a display of ingenious and creative ideas, it was the ‘little innovators’ who stole the show at Maker Faire.
Over 25 children from across the country had taken part in the event, out of which some of the noteworthy innovations included a pen that notified kids about pending homework and an app that provided farmers with real-time data on the nature of soil and water.
The mastermind behind the pen is Nidhi Ramasubramaniam, a student of Sri Kumaran Children’s Home.
The eight-year-old who studies in the 3rd grade, had also presented a unique pencil box at the fair that can remind students about impending homework with blinking LED lights for each subject. “The light flashes when the child opens the pencil box at home. Children may forget to do their homework. I have also forgotten sometimes,” said Nidhi to Times of India.
It looks like innovation streak runs through the family, for another participant at Maker Faire was none other than Nidhi’s elder sister, Chinmayi.
Chinmayi, who studies in the 6th grade, had two fantastic innovations lined up in the exhibition. The first one was a prototype of a mobile application that is connected to a water sprinkler and helps farmers to access real-time data about the nature of soil and water.
“This is not an app yet. I wrote the codes for the prototype. To make this work, a smartphone is connected to a device like a sprinkler which is inserted in a pot with vegetation. The device and smartphone interact once in 10 seconds to update the user,” said the 12-year-old.
The fascinating aspect is the amount of thought that the young girl has set aside while developing the app.
Successfully managing water intake by analysing soil moisture, the app deactivates the sprinkler during rainy weather and also informs the user about the adequate water requirement of soil pertaining to the crop and its related weather conditions.
Chinmayi’s second innovation is a smart inhaler that warns the user about the air quality of different geographical areas, taking his or her clinical history into account. The inhaler is connected to a mobile app called Puffin and requires one to inhale through it. The connecting app, in turn, calculates threshold levels of the user along with air quality index (AQI) and alerts the person about air pollution levels in different locations.
Both the sisters’ and their innovative applications ended up impressing everyone present at the venue, with Priyank Kharge, Minister of State, IT, BT and Tourism, calling them “Brilliant inventor sisters” in a tweet.
Another remarkable innovation was that of Sarah Paul, who studies in the 7th grade at the Green Hills Public School in Sulthan Bathery, Wayanad, who developed a burglar alarm as a home security solution.
According to Sarah’s father, Paul Mathews, the little scientist had shown a keen interest in programming and basic electronics and would experiment with basic programmable electronic circuits such as LEDs, light sensors and stepper motors.
It is quite impressive to see the proclivity that these kids nurture towards science and innovation at such young age and it wouldn’t be any less of a surprise if they emerge as eminent scientists and engineers in future.