Darshanie Nanhu, a 16-year-old student at the Bygeval Secondary School on the East Coast of Demerara, invented a mosquito repellent made of Katahar plant flowers for her SBA project. Darshanie remembered that parents would light the dried flower of the Katahar plant (commonly called Bambalayke) and the scent coming from it would keep the mosquitoes away.
Darshanie enlisted the help of her classmate Dolly Sooknanan, 16, who completed her own project measuring the effect of salt on the temperature of the human body. And then there was also another helper, Mandy Mangru, 16, who worked out how fast a ball travels after it is hit by a player in the game of cricket.
Never in her wildest dreams did Darshanie think that this idea she thought up in a moment of panic would get a lot of attention, and she was completely caught off-guard when it was announced that the project had also won the national competition and secured the national prize from the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge, an initiative of the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), insurance company Sagicor Life Inc (Sagicor) and CXC to encourage innovation in science and technology solutions to the problems plaguing communities.
The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge is run across the Caribbean, and national winners participate in a 7-day, all-expenses-paid Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador Programme in Florida, USA. There, Darshanie will compete in the regional finals and get the opportunity to win US$5000 for the Bygeval school.
Here’s Darshanie’s story…She Rocks!