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Jalandhar student wins prestigious award for building recycling reward machine

“I got the inspiration when I was surfing the web and found a video about a reverse vending machine,” the winner said



Panav Aggarwal, a class VIII student at Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg, Jalandhar, won the prestigious Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Award 2022-23 of Rs 10,000 for his innovative science project.

The INSPIRE scheme is a flagship programme of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, which aims to foster a culture of creativity among school children by promoting innovations rooted in science and societal applications.

The INSPIRE Awards – MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge), executed by DST with National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF), an autonomous body of DST, aims to motivate students in studying in classes VI to X.

Panav won the award for making a recycling reward machine (RRM) to collect plastic bottles. “I got the inspiration when I was surfing the web and found a video about a reverse vending machine. It was a great concept, according to me, but it was too costly to set up as the minimum price was around Rs 60,000,” the student said. “So, I tried to make a simpler version of it (mainly to set it up in schools)) at a much lesser cost.”

The machine is also fitted with a sensor to indicate when the machine is full, the Apeejay student highlighted.

To help make the model better, Panav sought help from his parents and teachers. “My parents helped me prepare a presentation for the model while my teachers helped me to do my best and pointed out certain mistakes that I tried to fix.”

Talking about the award, the young achiever added, “It is a proud moment for me as an Apeejayite. It means a lot to me as it took a lot of hard work to make this model.”

For Panav, competitions are not about winning but gaining experience. “They prepare you to take part in everything you can and discover your hidden talents. To become successful in anything, we have to try to be the best, which is the main thing that keeps me motivated,” he said. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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