Litchfield students create alternative cooling device

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LITCHFIELD -- Hundreds of students from 40 schools across the state are gearing up for Education Connection’s Science Innovation Expo at the XL Center, Saturday, June 6.

The students have come up with some creative ideas that could one day be in your household.

From aiding the visually impaired to creating a device that would beep when you’re texting while driving; teens from across Connecticut have come up with these innovative ideas.

At Wamogo High School in Litchfield a sophomore biology class is entering the competition. The name of their group is EvanesCo.

One you step inside their classroom you’re in a world of its own. It’s where science meets innovation, it’s where ideas are formed and developed.

“Basically we found a natural cooling system using these things called hydrogels,” said sophomore, Maya Davila. “When they evaporate it releases cool air into the atmosphere so we’re working on that as a substitute for an air conditioner.”

Dr. Susan Brooks is their biology teacher who’s leading the class as they venture out and create an alternative cooling device, using these hydrogels. She said their idea started out big.

“Their first idea was to cool the student lounge,” said Brooks.

But when the temperature change wasn’t significant enough they created a personal device.

“Someone could use it as a fan while they're sitting in their car, while they're sitting in a chair, at their computer or something like that,” she said.

The air would be much cooler than a personal fan because the fan would be blowing cool air from the hydrogels rather than hot air. The fan would require a battery and every now and then the hydrogels would need to be rehydrated but that’s not a problem.

“So this one would have a cassette like thing that the hydrogels would snap into and then slide into another piece with the fan on one side so you would be able to rehydrate them a lot easier,” said student Ryan DeLello.

It’s an energy efficient idea that’s turning a lot of heads but it’s really the experience that’s been worthwhile to them.

“I will definitely use the skills I learned here in the future,” said student Paul Marceski.

So whether they walk away as the top team at the Student Innovation Expo or not what they learned inside this 10th grade biology class will stick with them well beyond the classroom walls.

While their device wasn’t finished when we visited EvanesCo the team will have it completed by Saturday.

The expo is hosted and managed by Skills 21 at Education Connection.

Click here to learn more about the expo.