Tuesday 17 October 2017

Students dream up innovative solution to weighty issue

Shraya Sharma (14), from Baldoyle, and Katarzyna Basinska (14), from Bayside,
taking final measurements for their ‘Tortue’ backpack project with a little help from
Professor Arlene Gallagher, director of Trinity Walton Club. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Shraya Sharma (14), from Baldoyle, and Katarzyna Basinska (14), from Bayside, taking final measurements for their ‘Tortue’ backpack project with a little help from Professor Arlene Gallagher, director of Trinity Walton Club. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Gavin White

A group of Dublin teenagers have come up with a smart and trendy school bag to solve the age-old problem of back pain from carrying all those books.

Some 30 teenagers were selected to pitch their Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) innovations ahead of the Ultimate Pitch Event at Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin today. The 'Tortue' backpack has been designed by students from the Trinity Walton Club, a Stem programme for second-level students.

The group's bag is designed to be closer to the back with a wider frame, retractable straps and labelled compartments inside, showing where to put the heaviest and lightest items.

One of the students, Katarzyna Basinska (14), from Bayside, told the Irish Independent: "We found that a lot of students wouldn't realise that you should be putting the heaviest books at the back to minimise pain."

Another student, Shraya Sharma (14), from Baldoyle, said the idea "has always been in our heads from when we started school".

"Once we looked at the maths and the physics of what was causing the problem in a normal bag, we started thinking about how to do it," she said.

Read More: Heavy bags pose health risk to children, warn physiotherapists

"Everyone in the group had a lot of ideas in the beginning so it was difficult to settle on the final design, but we just chose the core elements."

Trinity physics Professor Arlene Gallagher, who is the club's director, said the bag was "a brilliant idea".

"In the real world market place I could really see it doing well, I think it has what it takes to be successful."

Irish Independent

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