Top 5 place in UK science fair for Saashi
Coleraine Grammar School student Saashi Ghaie made it through to the top five in the UK of The Big Bang Science Fair competition recently.
It’s been a busy year for Saashi who was selected from thousands of applications to participate in both The Big Bang Competition and BT Young Scientist.
Her project was inspired by seeing facemasks being worn incorrectly and she was interested to find out what the major issues were in wearing them.
Saashi’s project ‘Improved Face-Mask Design and Materials for a COVID-19 World’ aimed to find the best possible combination of mask materials that would be comfortable to wear, while still being safe. Due to Covid restrictions, Saashi had to develop her own apparatus and built a sneeze and cough simulator and apparatus to test the breathability of materials.
She then proposed a three-layer mask made from cotton and nylon. However, after evaluating her own results and analysing a German study, Saashi concluded that all woven materials let virus-sized particles through. She then designed a mask insert made from vinyl acetate which costs just pennies to produce. This could be manufactured inside the fabric layers of masks, which would make them more comfortable to wear.
Following her participation in BT Young Scientist, Saashi developed this project further and entered The Big Bang Science Fair, the biggest science competition in the UK.
Her project was placed in the UK top five, and second in her overall category. Saashi thanked the school science department and Mrs Reid for all their support