/ 22 January 2023

THREE senior high school students from the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Manila made a splash for conceiving a device that cleans water.

Grade 12 students Mark Joseph Funilas, Nichole Emmanuelle Barcelona and Ansharina Therese Laud recently got the attention of their mentors and peers for their idea of an anti-water pollution device called “BuzzBuzz.”

The theoretical machine aims to clear highly polluted streams and waterways not only of solid wastes like plastics and other discarded objects, but also microorganisms that can cause diseases.

“It works by integrating a built-in sensor in the machine, which will be powered by solar panels and lithium-ion batteries, that could filter out water pollutants it is programmed to detect. These, in turn, would automatically be collected and disposed properly,” the group said.

The look of the device was partly inspired by the animated fictional character Buzz Lightyear — the legendary space ranger in the Toy Story franchise — so they decided to name their theoretical invention “BuzzBuzz.”

Their proposed concept won the Technology Innovation Challenge from the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines Manila Student Chapter last October 2022, which took them to the national level of the competition where they placed first runner-up.

Funilas, Barcelona and Laud, who are all currently enrolled in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academic track, “hope to build on this accomplishment by turning their idea into a marketable product someday.”