GEORGE TOWN - Three young aspiring inventors who created an energy-saving machine dispensing drinks won the Double Gold Award at the British Invention Show (BIS) 2014 in London.
SJK(T) Kulim's R. Prevena and V. Sushmeetha, both 11 - supported by former student R. Rasyikash, 13 - came up with the idea for the machine after reading an article online in March.
Prevena and Sushmeetha then proposed it to their teacher for their school science fair in June.
Rasyikash, who is now in Form One at SMJK Chio Min in Kulim, said the three of them tested different types of rock on a kettle to find out which maintained heat longer.
"We also used sugarcane bagasse (the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed for juice extraction) to try to retain heat in the kettle.
"We found out that basalt rock was the most suitable to retain heat for a longer time and the sugarcane bagasse acted as an insulator.
"So, for our invention, we glued the bagasse directly onto the kettle and placed the basalt rocks under it, so heat could be maintained for a few hours even after the electricity was cut off," explained Rasyikash.
Sushmeetha said they also used paint and aluminium foil to complete the project.
She added that following their wins in the science fair and a state-level competition, also in June, they put in their submission for BIS after they were encouraged by their teachers.
In September, they were told of their selection for the BIS.
Sushmeetha said they then flew to London for the four-day event from Oct 22, accompanied by SJK(T) Kulim teachers S. Jaya and A. Panimalar.
"We just did not expect to win as there were more than 100 participants from 10 countries with their inventions," she said.
The trio won the award, a certificate of participation and medals.
Their trip was made possible by People's Progressive Party president Tan Sri M. Kayveas and parents.
Sushmeetha, who wants to be a dental specialist, said they aim to participate in more science competitions.
"Science is our favourite subject and we hope to excel in it," added Prevena and Rasyikash, who both aspire to be space scientists.