It’s easy to assume that Scientists and Engineers are mostly involved with projects which aim to make ‘cars and planes go faster’, ‘mobile phones smaller’ or ‘chocolate taste better’. Although these sorts of projects are often fascinating and can provide stimulating and exciting careers, it’s easy to forget that many men and women working in STEM are also busy ‘making the world a better place’.
Here are a couple of inspiring examples of STEM projects, which have the potential to make a difference to poor communities across the world.
Dr. Theresa Dankovich has invented a special silver nano-particle coated paper that filters water. The papers, bound in a book called ‘The Drinkable Book’, are torn out one at a time and, when dirty water is poured through, they purify the water to a level comparable to tap water! Watch the video below to find out how it works:
The second project involves trying to improve the uptake of vaccinations against childhood diseases. In many very poor countries, the parents of many children are unable to read, and so the paperwork they are given about bringing their child back for regular vaccinations is of little use. As a result, many children do not recieve all their injections and may die unnecessarily. Lauren Braun has designed a simple stretchy bracelet which contains a pictorial record of what vaccinations a child has had, and when the next injection is due. The child wears the bracelet from birth until it is four years old and it helps to ensure that the pchild receives a full set of vaccinations.
Such a simple idea, with potentially huge impact.
Inspired? If you want to solve real world problems and get involved with projects like these, you should start thinking about studying STEM subjects.