Sun | Jun 4, 2023

Westwood shines at western leg of JPS expo

Published:Wednesday | March 24, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Member of Parliament for North Central St James, Housing and Water Minister Dr Horace Chang, examines the GT EMachine while he listens keenly to the description of the project by the science team members from Westwood High School in Trelawny. - Contributed

Young scientists from western Jamaica showed off several innovative exhibits during the Western leg of the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd (JPS) Science & Technology Expo, held recently at the West Jamaica Conference Centre of Seventh-day Adventists.

The expo, which was held in association with the Scientific Research Council and the Association of Science Teachers of Jamaica, saw 20 exhibits, with Westwood High School leading the way as multiple prize winners for its two exhibits: Solar Hairdryer and GT EMachine.

The Westwood girls, from grades seven to nine, put a new spin on the use of solar energy, via their solar hairdryer with connections and openings to the roof of a home or salon. The design, which made use of aluminium, glass and styrofoam to trap the sun's heat and channel it to the user, was professed to give a drying time of one hour for hair 28cm in length, and able to heat at a maximum of 68°C, two degrees less than electrical dryers.

Life-size object

The solar dryer, a life-size rectangular object, was also built with ventilation slots for the comfort of the person sitting under it. For their effort, they copped the number-one spot for the grades seven to nine category, as well as the sectional prizes of Best Illustration of Energy Use, Most Innovative Display, and Best Female Speaker in the person of Paula Ray-Ivey.

The other Westwood High project, the GT EMachine, focused on recycling, by thermal cracking of plastic bottles, to create four by-products. The by-products were: ethene to be used to create more plastics; ethane for fuel (like propane, or buthane); ethanol also for fuel; and a fruit-ripening agent. For their innovation they took the number-one spot for grades 10-11, making it a total of five awards for the combined science teams from the all-girl Trelawny school.

Another big winner at the Western Regional Expo was Moneague College (previously Moneague Teachers' College), which took the top position in the tertiary category, as well as the sectional prize for Best Use of Indigenous Material, for their creation of organic fertiliser from a number of products, including chicken manure and worm waste from two worm species - the Eisenie and Lumbricus.

Wait-A-Bit All-Age was the top school in the grades four to six category, for its plastic recycling project which saw plastic bottles being used for irrigation purposes, as well as to create a miniature greenhouse.

The eastern leg of the JPS Science & Technology Expo will take place next Tuesday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.

All category winners from across the island will compete at the national finals, which will be held at the National Arena April 29-30.

All expos are open to the public and are free of cost.

See more pictures in tomorrow's Western Focus magazine.