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Young Jordanian innovators win inaugural Prince’s Trust Group Sustainability Award

By Batool Ghaith - May 27,2022 - Last updated at May 27,2022

A team of young Jordanian innovators, 15-year-olds Zaid, Maya and Mohammad from Al Mashrek International School in Amman won the inaugural Prince’s Trust Group Sustainability Award in London for their EcoRoad project (Photo courtesy of PTI)

AMMAN — A team of young Jordanian innovators won the inaugural Prince’s Trust Group Sustainability Award in London for their “EcoRoad” project that generates electricity using speed bumps. 

The 15-year-olds, Zaid, Maya and Mohammad from Al Mashrek International School in Amman, invented “EcoRoad”. The project uses street speed bumps to absorb and transform kinetic energy from passing cars to generate electricity, then transfers it into a generator to store in batteries for future use.

According to Zaid, the team leader, their project was established as part of the Enterprise Challenge programme — a Prince’s Trust International initiative, delivered in Jordan by INJAZ, a local non-profit in Jordan, in which they had won the national finals in 2021.

“Plenty of Jordanians struggle to pay electricity bills as they are expensive, so we thought it would be good to have something to create more electricity and absorb it to use later on, as there are lots of speed bumps in Jordanian streets,” team researcher Mohammad told The Jordan Times.

Mohammad and Maya said that the project aims to help Jordanian people who face an electricity shortage issue, as the generated electricity can be given to these people, as well as used for camps and people who would benefit from the batteries.

They noted the batteries are high voltage so they can be long-term used.

When the cars pass over the bump, the bump goes down, which causes the generator to start moving while it is connected to the battery that stores the electricity, Zaid said.

According to the team, the main challenges they faced were determining how and when to apply the idea, how to install the project, address its high cost, and find engineers to help build the prototype.

“INJAZ provided us with an engineer who helped us with the first prototype, we also received a sponsor who had given us JD1,500. However, we had multiple tasks to do and we needed more but we managed to work through it and organised the finances with the support of INJAZ and our school,” the team’s technician, Maya, continued.

The team indicated that the project is implemented at Al Mashrek School, as buses pass by the road bumps. “We are looking to build a more efficient prototype as well and to start selling our product and install it in other places too,” they said.

Mohammad noted that they are looking to improve their project and then patent it under their “EcoRoad” company name, which is almost ready.

“It is amazing to win the PTI award after all the hard work and hours invested in the project. We are all proud of our achievement and everyone was very surprised and happy for us as well. We had the courage to be on stage and talk in front of all the people including HRH The Prince of Wales and it was a great feeling and experience,” the team leader added.

The team travelled to London and received their award from Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane during the award ceremony on Wednesday. 

A new addition for this year’s Prince’s Trust Awards, The Prince’s Trust Group Sustainability Award recognises the outstanding achievements of participants in Prince’s Trust programmes around the world.

“Winning this award means so much to us as a team. It will help us to inspire other young people to create change, as our business idea is about tackling the energy problem and environmental issues in our country,” the team said.

To win The Prince’s Trust Group Sustainability Award the team’s idea was assessed based on its environmental and community impact, approach to innovation and the use of resources and ease of replicability.

 

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