Young inventors shine at Spark 2018 | Sunday Observer

Young inventors shine at Spark 2018

With over 60O exhibits on display, Spark’18 was the largest innovation exhibition in the country for all young inventors who showcased their innovative ideas. Other than innovations from students of Royal College, Spark’18 also showcased over 150 inventions from students from across the country. Inventions from the tri-forces (Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Navy) as well as the Top 10 National lnventions, which were selected at island-wide competitions organised by the Sri Lanka Inventors’ Commission, Spark’18 also featured Future Pavilions hosted by trialog Axiata as well as by Microsoft

Royal, Colombo was the venue for Spark 2018- an exhibition that brought young inventors from all across the island. These talented boys and girls, many from rural schools displayed their creative and technical genius. We spoke to some of them and found out what inspired them to come up with such practical and interesting innovations.

One of the first such youth was Yasiru, a student from Holy Cross College, Kalutara. He had made an Electric Cable Protection System. He explained “Some months ago down our residence, a cable was suspended from a neighbours roof. The cable had got damaged due to constant friction with a section of the roof.

A man climbed the roof and touched the cable, only to be struck by electricity, which sadly resulted in his death. Since that day I was wondering how we could prevent such fatal accidents. It was then that I came up with this rubber insulated basic system, which can be installed on a roof, wall or any part of a building that would come in close contact with electric cables”. Young Yasiru remains humble and hopes that someday there will be more safety related mechanisms in place when dealing with electric cables.

In the classroom next door another young girl has made something that highlights the safety element in a candle holder. Wearing spectacles and looking very “science minded” is Keshika, all the way from Kandy. With a gentle voice she explains “In most rural villages people still use candles and lamps. Even during a power cut candles are used in the city. When a candle is placed on a table or counter top, the wax will stain the table. When the wind blows the candle will fall, and if there is paper or fabric nearby there is great danger of a fire - which can spread and create panic. I have made a sturdy case, mounted on a small stand. It encloses the candle, and the spring coil enables the candle to be lifted up as it burns.

Even in windy conditions the weight of the stand will ensure that the candle will not fall”. This is an excellent exhibit that can be used by thousands of Sri Lankans who use candles and lamps.

Coming all the way from the Northern Province, Thilakshan an A/L student from Jaffna Central College was busy fixing some wires. This shy youth has made a battery and panel in keeping with the concept of nano technology. He demonstrates how one can draw electricity a thick aloe-vera leaf.

The youth explains “We came to Colombo by train. This is my first visit to Colombo. It’s a lovely experience to meet and interact with other students.” Thilakshan’s invention is again something that can rejuvenate and sustain the need for consistent electricity in the Northern Province and other areas. Such young men must be given the opportunity to enhance their full potential.

Vihara Ranasinghe is a young girl with an amiable smile and calm voice. Studying at Sujatha Vidiyalaya she has made an Elders Light - a very useful device for senior citizens. Vihara explains the need for her invention “I went to the store one night with my mother. We saw an old lady trying to leave the store, bag in one hand and a walking aid in the other hand.

She had no flashlight. This snapshot inspired me to think about doing something practical, safe and user friendly. I have made a small light that runs on solar power.

The light can be worn on a belt strap, giving the user a “hands free” option to walk and move about at night time. It is safe and can be used by all senior citizens”. As we walked around there were many others with inventions that included tiny robots and :modifications to home appliances.

A youth from Ratnapura had come up with a device to accurately turn out wooden nails, which can be used in the manufacture of furniture.

It was interesting to see the talent of these students, who have great potential ahead of them. Hopefully they will patent their innovative devices and be able to set the benchmark for locally based industries.