Practical invention of high school students enters international science fair

With the hope to ease the hardship of neighboring farmers, 11th-grader Vi Thi Thu Ha and 12th-grader Dao Huynh Duy An from Dong Du High School in Dak Lak Province invented a semi-automatic passion fruit juice extraction machine. This invention is approved by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to enter the International Science & Engineering Fair 2022 (ISEF 2022), to be held in the US this May.

Ha and An are with their invention – the semi-automatic passion fruit juice extraction machine.

At the end of this March, the project ‘Designing, Making Semi-Automatic Passion Fruit Juice Extraction Machine’ by Ha and An won the first prize in the national science-technology contest, and thus was allowed by MoET to participate in ISEF 2022.

Thu Ha shared that the idea for this machine came when she witnessed the hardship of her parents, who are passion fruit farmers in a remote hamlet of Dak Lak Province. All steps of passion fruit growing, harvesting, and processing are done manually here, which is highly labor-intensive.

While helping her parents extract the juice of this fruit by hand, Ha thought about creating a machine especially for this task and shared her idea with her friend, Duy An. The two began finding more information to turn this idea into reality. After six months studying under the help of their teacher Luu Thi Thuong, both finished the first version of the machine.

This machine is controlled by a special operation software piece, and the stages of cutting, sucking the juice out via a cylinder into a container are done automatically. With two sharp blades, the machine can cut 60 kilos of passion fruits in an hour, while 95-98 percent of the juice is extracted without impurities from the skin.

When learning about other machines with similar functions on the market, Duy An discovered that they all use the centrifugation principle, leaving behind impurities and the bitter flavor. He focused on tackling this problem in the new design.

However, the hardest part according to both of them is the creating of a mainboard and developing corresponding software. Thanks to the help of teachers in their STEM club, the machine was born after six months. It is now just a piloting machine, but can replace three laborers already. With more improvements, the machine is expected to save more labor.

Teacher Luu Thi Thuong commented that this invention is quite innovative and practical in reducing both time and labor in the juice extraction process. Adding to that is the low cost for one machine and user-friendly feature, making it very promising in the future.

The passion fruit juice extraction machine is one in the seven projects in Vietnam to take part in ISEF 2022. This is a pride of Dong Du High School and Dak Lak Province, said Vice Principal of Dong Du High School Tran Ngoc Quang. Therefore, both the school and the province are willing to fully support the two in upgrading their machine to achieve the best possible result. The school is planning to ask experts in the field for consultation so that the machine can be widely use in agricultural production.

ISEF 2022 will happen in less than a month. These days, Thu Ha and Duy An are busy finishing the last details to improve their invention, ready for the international contest.

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