Viet Nam News
Individuals who won consolation prizes in the Sáng Kiến Cộng Đồng 2017 contest organised by the HCM City Department of Science and Technology. — VNS Photo Gia Lộc
HCM CITY — Seeing plastic bottles floating at sea, Nguyễn Thị Quỳnh Trâm and her two friends at Bình Mỹ Primary School in HCM City’s coastal district of Cần Giờ got the idea of using them to make a life jacket, and it won them the first prize in a contest called Sáng Kiến Cộng Đồng 2017 (Social Ideas).
Trâm, 11, said: “Once I and my friends wrote our wish on a paper, put it into an empty plastic bottle and threw it into the sea. When we saw the bottle floating, we thought we could make life jackets from them.”
Many of her schoolmates from the rural hamlet of Mỹ Khánh come to school by boat through canals without life jackets, she said, explaining they are too poor to buy them.
The boat owners do not provide passengers with life jackets either.
Trâm and her friends put together five 1.5-litre bottles using nylon and polyester lines. To strap them on, they used straps from discarded life jackets.
The cost is not high, and their schoolmates can afford them, they said.
Trương Thanh Trí, a computer teacher at the Bình Mỹ Primary School who helped them make the life jackets, said: “I have tried it. It is safe for students to use.”
These life jackets would help reduce drowning deaths, and reusing plastic bottles is a way to teach the students how to protect the environment, he said.
He plans to make a do-it-yourself booklet on how to make them for the benefit of other students.
Second prizes in the contest went to Trịnh Thị Minh Hương, a literature teacher at Phú Nhuận High School who uses games to make literature lessons more interesting, and two girl students at Lê Hồng Phong School for Gifted Students who developed a watch with four sensors that warn the wearer against epilepsy seizures.
There were seven other awards for individuals and teams for creative and innovative practical ideas.
The awards ceremony was held yesterday in the city.
The contest was organised by the city Department of Science and Technology’s management division for science and technology research at grassroots levels in co-operation with Khám Phá (Discovery) Magazine.
Nguyễn Việt Dũng, head of the department, said the contest encourages every one to come up with creative ideas which could change people’s lives for the better and contribute to the city’s socio-economic development. — VNS