Pennacool.com CEO John Devaux was left speechless by the inventions of primary school pupils for the website’s Pennacool.com CEO John Devaux.
The initiative is a partnership between Pennacool.com, the Ministry of Education, Shell TT and BPTT, and focuses on promoting conservation within primary schools.
Pennacool.com is an online educational platform that offers practice and revision exercises for primary and secondary school students in TT. As part of the competition, the students were asked to design an environmentally-friendly project based on what they learned from the conservation learning materials on the website.
The Science and Conservation challenge was introduced in early 2020 to teach reducing waste and conservation during school visits. But owing to covid19 restrictions, the programme was tailored into a virtual end-of-term challenge.
The children, with the help of relatives, were challenged to incorporate technology in their conservation project, for a $1,000 cash prize. They were then asked to submit a short video explaining what was used to create the piece and how the project works.
From 120 entries, five winners were selected from different primary schools
The top five proudly showed and brought to life their ideas for water, light, energy and food conservation at the award ceremony on Friday at the Ministry of Public Utilities One Alexandra Street, St Clair.
Annabel Sookwah, seven, of Don Miguel Hindu School, took over a month to complete her housing development model, in which the entire mini-development was powered by light, wind and solar energy. This energy was generated by a large motorised paper windmill attached to electrical wires leading to streetlights. She also used solar panels to power the cardboard houses.
A student of Macaulay Government Primary School, Josh Gittens, told Newsday his keen interest in agriculture, particularly aquaponics, inspired him to create an aquaponics device, using recycled wood, small plastic hoses, an aquarium pump, PVC pipes, recycled plastic bottles, rocks and store-bought fish. His device is small enough to fit on a kitchen countertop for a unique way of making a kitchen garden.
He explained, “The water in the area where the fishes are is pumped up through the hose to the plants above. Water sent to the plants is filtered through two levels of plants, soil and rocks. The plants purify the fish’s environment and the fish provides the plants with nutrients.”
Other winners included Malik Howard of Woodbrook Presbyterian Primary School; Sattvika Ragoonanan, Penal Government Primary School; and Tavir Sanatan of Clarke Rochard Government Primary School.
Devaux said he is satisfied to see the inspiration behind the students using the website, especially when the covid19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis in the education system.
"I'm happy to say that after 12 years of labouring in this field of ICT in education, we were able to bring support to teachers, support to parents, where, you know, these kids, rather than having nothing, with more resources, could go online, could continue to engage with the education, of course."
He told the media it was “quite amazing” to see the outcome and the capabilities of children under ten.