Secondary: Engineers Without Borders’ Reflection

ArushaTimes News

“The ‘Engineers without Borders Youth Venture UBC 2021 STEM Covid-19 Mask Case Competition’ has been a great learning experience for the four of us. The presentations given by professors on the first day were very inspiring and motivated us to be hardworking and innovative. The competition was well organized by current UBC engineering students and the amount of work they put into creating and facilitating the competition was really encouraging. They were very helpful when we needed assistance and it was amazing how well they did considering the difficulties of online events, especially those with many participants.

During the designing process, we went through many hours of hardship and frustration over the span of two days. The goal of the competition was to develop a mask design that would provide a realistic solution to common problems brought up by everyday mask usage. The problem we decided to focus on involved the difficulties standard masks bring to individuals with aural disabilities. We recognized that a defining problem was that these individuals tend to rely on lip-reading to communicate more effectively, which was no longer possible with masks. Another issue was that some using hearing aids would find typical mask straps inconvenient. To tackle these issues, we designed a sustainable single-use mask with a transparent feature and adjustable straps. We conducted hours of research trying to find the best and most cost-effective sustainable solutions and finally settled on the use of a combination of starch-based biopolymers and wood fibres.
The event was a roller coaster of emotions – from the stress of having such a limited amount of time to develop a feasible product, to the nerves of presenting our design to over 100 people including STEM professionals, and finally the shock and excitement of our hard work paying off in the end. Overall, it was the experience of a lifetime and we are proud to have made this great achievement!
The 2021 Engineers Without Borders
Youth Venture UBC Winners:
Christie C., Lucy P., Flora W., Emily X.

“The competition was more fast paced then I had expected. Overall I believe that it was a good experience for my group and even though we did not win the competition as a team, I think our team worked well together. However, I also think we could have started our research a week prior to the “2 day marathon”. Filbert W. at least managed to win a prize for an Instagram activity that Youth Venture organized.
I think that this competition was a really good way to understand the engineering process and STEM; for me it was learning how an engineer goes through the process of designing a product. We got to meet numerous students and see their ideas; everyone was supportive.”
Mary J. D. (10B)

Please join in congratulating the three JKCS teams that joined the Engineers without Borders Youth Venture UBC 2021 STEM Covid-19 Mask Case Competition. “The goal of this case competition is to design and propose a solution for people who have difficulties wearing the mask.”

There were 120 participants who competed in the competition, 13 students from our grade 10s and 11s.
Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
Mary J. D. Christie C. Chloe C.
Faith F. Lucy P. Joseph K.
Grace K. Flora W. Seth V.
Michael N. Emily X. Jimmy W.
Filbert W.

Special shout out to Filbert for winning an Instagram Activity Prize during the competition!
Well done one and all!
Congratulations to the winners of the competition: our grade 11 team of Christie C., Lucy P., Flora W., and Emily X.
Jeyne Lund, Missions and Outreach Coordinator