27 July, 2020
A Year 8 student at Ormiston Six Villages Academy (OSVA), has been working on a prototype for a Covid-19 protective mask, and has had her sketches published in a national medical magazine.
Together with her father, who is an engineer, Jennifer Wright researched into the current availability and effectiveness of facemasks, finding that there were issues with both the fitting and function. They concluded that UV lighting could be used to inactivate viruses on surfaces. Jennifer then researched online for what had already been created and found there was nothing similar on the market.
Jennifer’s father was impressed to discover how much she had already learnt about the techniques involved in soldering at Ormiston Six Villages Academy, which meant they were able to work together on an initial prototype. They created a silicone mask with a flexible inlet tube allowing inhalation, which can be detached and sterilised at a high temperature.
Already a talented artist, Jennifer’s next task was to sketch up the original design. Her drawings were published in the national medical magazine run by the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO), alongside an article explaining how the mask works.
Year 8 student Jennifer Wright said:
“The Covid-19 virus has not stopped me from doing my schoolwork because of the great online lessons through OSVA. Social lockdown has given me the chance to research the Covid-19 problem with my Dad who is an engineer. We discovered viruses are killed by UV light and as I love sketching, he asked me to draw the ﬁrst design of a new type of protective mask using LEDs. I helped him build a prototype by soldering the LED lights together, a skill I learned at OSVA earlier this year.”
Principal at Ormiston Six Villages Academy Paul Slaughter said:
“We’re extremely impressed by what Jennifer has produced during her time in lockdown; it just goes to show that there is always learning taking place no matter the circumstances, and I know she will be a big inspiration to other students. I’m especially proud that Jennifer was able to put into practice the skills she learnt at school, and for such a good cause.”