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Children provide solutions to the challenges of life in the pandemic

22 Sep 2021

Original ideas and creative concepts inspired by children’s lives during the COVID-19 pandemic

Each year, entries to the do your :bit challenge demonstrate the thoughtful, ingenious and creative work that children around the world are capable of. This year entries have included world-class concepts and prototypes designed and built in response to the impacts of lockdown life.

The competition brings together children with the BBC micro:bit and the UN’s Global Goals. This year, thousands of children were inspired to submit ideas related to Goal 3, Good Health and Well-Being, with solutions to some of the problems the pandemic has raised. Here are just a few them…

Intelligent parcel disinfection cabinet

Parcel disinfection cabinet

Chi Kei and Ho Tung from China invented a parcel locker, which disinfects parcels with UVC light while they are in storage. The students had their idea when they read scientific reports which show that UVC light eliminates 99.9% of microorganisms in just 25 minutes. Their design incorporates an LED light display, which shows when it is safe to remove parcels from the locker.

The do your :bit judges felt that Chi Kei and Ho Tung’s idea was very well thought through. The idea was a runner up in the working prototype category for 15 to 18-year-olds.

Intelligent parcel disinfection cabinet

Social distancing sensor

Daniella and Victoria from Kenya planned a social distancing sensor to monitor crowds during the pandemic. The project uses two micro:bits. Each device senses if another micro:bit is within three feet and, if it is, plays an alarm to alert the wearers to move away from each other.

Daniella and Victoria were runners up in the paper prototype category for 8 to 14-year-olds in Africa. The judges loved the simplicity and practical application of their idea.

Innovation and originality

Other innovative ideas that we received included:

  • a driverless ambulance that can deliver vaccines, cotton swabs and protective clothing without the need for face-to-face contact
  • an electronic counter to monitor the number of people entering a room, designed to support social distancing
  • an incubator and ice bag that monitors and displays the temperature that vaccine is being kept at in areas with poor electricity supplies
  • a display that uses sound as an input to show different expressions or emotions above a face mask
  • timers to help ensure people wash their hands for 20 seconds or more
  • a range of fitness trackers to help people stay in shape during lockdowns
  • a device that dispenses hand sanitizer without having to touch it

Learn more about this year's do your :bit winners.

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