Congratulations to Lynbrook ninth graders Srinjoy Majumdar, Kabir Kapoor, and Pransu Dash, as well as to Miller student Arsh Malhotra and Monta Vista's Arpan Chuodhuri and their BotWorks team! These brilliant and creative students have been selected as semifinalists in the international Conrad Awards Spirit of Innovation Challenge with their Personal Food Contamination and Recall Notifier.
According to the Conradawards.org website, "The Spirit of Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity for teams of students to create commercially viable products or services to address issues of global sustainability for the benefit of humanity." This year, over 235 entries arrived from around the world. The 130 semifinalists include 8 international teams from 7 countries, as well as teams representing 21 U.S. states. The finalists earn a $10,000 grant and the distinction of becoming Pete Conrad Scholars.
Botworks has created "The Ultimate Solution to Recall Notification." Pransu Dash explained that via an app or a scanner, consumers would be notified (by email or smart phone) when their food purchases have been recalled by the CDC, FDA, or USDA, promoting food safety in the home.
One recent notice included an Allergy Alert, vital for those with nut or egg allergies. Additionally, restaurants could partner with Botworks, and use the same information to keep their patrons safe. Consumers would be able to learn if their restaurant choices will be providing non-recalled food for dinner. The app would also let consumers and restaurants know about upcoming expiration dates on food purchases.
These incredibly busy students (each plays a sport and is involved with a school orchestra or band) get together via Skype, or at the library on weekends. They are incredibly dedicated, and their collaboration skills are exceptional. This reporter has not seen students or adults brainstorm or work together that well in recent memory.
Kabir Kapoor recalled that this project began over a year ago, when the students entered a robotics competition, the First Lego League (FLL). The 2012 World Festival of the First Lego League had a theme of health and nutrition, so the Botworks Team entry was part robotics and part food science. The Conrad Award program required the team to create a business plan and 3D model of their invention.
Srinjoy Majumdar added that the students placed in the top 20 semifinalists for the FLL Global Animation Award, and were encouraged to apply for a patent. Botworks now has a provisional patent, and is looking to partner with a large company to help finalize the product and provide support for a permanent patent.
Coach Gyana Dash was awarded best mentor/coach at the FLL Silicon Valley Championships.
The Botworks team profile, at http://www.conradawards.org/group/472, notes the following: We are Botworks, a team consisting of four high-school students and one middle school student. All of our team members play sports, enjoy listening to and playing music, and love science and technology. We show our passion for science and technology by developing projects like BotWorks. We came up with this solution after collaborating with professionals from Cisco, Stanford and the FDA.
The team presented their food safety product to a group of internationally known food scientists and have been invited to represent the United States in the 2012 World Championships.
For more information about Botworks, please visit www.Botworks.co.nr
For more information about the Conrad Awards, please see www.conradfoundation.org. Finalists will be announced next month. Good luck, Team Botworks!