Funday Times

Young Inventors
By Madhushala Senaratne

At school we learn about Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and all those other great scientists and inventors whose inventions have had a huge impact on our societies and lives. But, what if you could be like them?

Well, the All Island School Inventors' Competition / Exhibition held last week gave the opportunity for school going children to showcase their talents and abilities by presenting their very own inventions. The theme of the competition was 'Science for Sustainable Development of Technology' and was organized by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science.

These are some of the inventions we saw…

What happens when you stick drawing pins in something, but can't remove them? Well, Isurika Sammani (12) of Bomiriya National School has got an answer for you.

"What I have is a drawing pin machine – you can put a drawing pin into this little opening and stick it into any place you like. And, when you want to remove the pins, there is a little gadget for that," she says, proudly showing us her instrument.

The best thing about this, as Isurika says, is that it is safe. "You can hurt yourself by trying to stick drawing pins using something like a hammer," she said.

Have you ever tried your hand at scraping coconuts? With Kaminda Sadaruwan's (12) machine all you have to do is place a coconut on the designated spot and turn the handle attached it to it. Kaminda is also from Bomiriya National School and he believes his invention would be greatly beneficial to people.
Have you seen how Kokis is made? R. J. W. Samith Ashan (13) from Rahula College, Matara designed an instrument where you could make not one, but three Kokis at once.

"This is a metal piece. It's got three different structures (Kokis Achchu). So all you have to do is put this into the oil. But this is also very flexible. So if you just want to make only one at a time, or you just want to use one structure only, you could tilt it towards a side as you wish," Samith says explaining his

Kavishka Ashan (14) from Ananda College, Elpitiya explaining his machine says, "It's a Rigifoam cutting machine.""Sometimes it is very hard to cut a piece of rigifoam the way you want it. So with this machine, this could be done in a better and more efficient manner," he says showing us the dolphin shape he has cut. He adds that you have to place the rigifoam on the wooden board and with the help of a thread attached to the machine, you could easily cut your rigifoam the way you want.

R. D. S. Dilshan (14) from Ananda College, Elpitiya explains to us his design – a car park. What is special about this, he says, is that before you enter the car park you know if the park is full or not.

"Most of the time, till you go into a particular car park and actually drive around it, you can't find a free space. Sometimes, you go in and realize that there are no free spaces. Then the trip is in vain. But what I have done here is, there are a set of lights on the wall of the park that can be seen by travellers. The lights will give a signal as to whether or not there is free space," he says, adding that he believes that such a system is much more convenient and efficient.

There were many more inventions, ranging from a machine to sew candlewick to a machine that cleans and polishes your shoes. Above all, it was an opportunity for many students to get to know each other, explore the works of others and showcase their talents.

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