Media highlight the ingenuity of ORT Argentina students
Two teenagers have applied technical skills acquired at ORT Argentina to social and environmental problems with amazing results.
Santiago Aranguri Diaz (left) has developed an app – already available online at www.personasperdidas.ar and for Android at Google Play – which helps to trace missing persons in the critical first hours of their disappearance. And alumnus Jeronimo Batista Bucher (right), now a biotechnology and electrical engineering undergraduate, has designed and built a machine that makes edible cups. Their imaginative high-tech contributions to society have been spotlighted in their country’s media.
‘I had to do something’
Santiago, who developed the app at the tender age of 12, told one newspaper that the idea came to him during a lunchtime conversation with his father.
“He told me how one person every day went missing in Argentina. From that moment I felt I had to do something to help. At first progress was slow because I didn’t know much about programming; I learned as I went along,” he said.
His app, which received the Einstein Award from Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, creates a network of family, friends and the general public so that they can share information and updates in the search using cell phones and the internet.
Now 15, Santiago is working on a new and improved version which also works on Windows Phone and iOS.
“Thanks to this app, we can keep the time between a person’s disappearance and their reunion with their family to the shortest possible. In addition, the publicity surrounding this has raised awareness of the problem,” he said.
An end to polystyrene cups
Meanwhile, Jeronimo is preparing his prototype edible cup making machine for next month’s international science and technology camp in Chile organised by the Youth Science Foundation, UNESCO and the Bayer Foundation.
Originally designed as a school project, the machine has a 3-D printer, an immersion heater and a valve which lets a solution made of algae extract through the mould. The device can also be controlled by cell phone via Bluetooth. The result is a cup which can meet the needs of coffee consuming office workers without creating piles of ugly and environmentally damaging polystyrene.
“They can even be flavoured. A coffee machine, for example, can provide a coffee-flavoured cup” he said.
Although using some very modern technology, Jeronimo’s biodegradable cups are inspired by nature. “It occurred to me that with fruit, the insides are eaten but the outsides don’t harm the environment.”