Third Place - High School, International

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing

2023 Youth Design Challenge

This design concept was developed by participants in the Institute’s Youth Design Challenge. The descriptions below are from the team’s competition entry materials.

School: VERSO International School Thailand
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Coach: Chrissy Nagle, Mecheal Delfino
Team members: Achiraya (Peachy) Limpanich, Nichchamon Abdullor, Sarankon (Pu) Payungwataseth

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Innovation Details

What is the problem your team solved for this challenge? What is the problem addressed? How is the problem connected to the selected SDG?

Thailand is now ranked 1st place for having the highest number of road accidents in Southeast Asia. More than 86% of deaths on the road are from motorcyclists in Bangkok; 75% of these fatalities were as a result of not wearing a helmet. Other research suggests that 21% of motorcyclists don’t wear helmets because they find them uncomfortable to wear in Thailand’s hot climate, made increasingly worse each year by climate change. By addressing this issue we are tackling SDG3 “Good health and Well-being”, focusing more specifically 3.6 “Reduce death and injuries from road traffic accidents by 50%.”

How was your solution inspired by nature? What (at least two) organisms did you learn from? How effectively did you combine the biological strategies for the final design?

We chose three organisms: Bighorn Sheep, Saiga Antelope, and Saharan Silver Ant. These selected organisms have diverse qualities, yet when each of the physical and behavioral aspects of the animals is researched, they unexpectedly fit together. For instance, we studied the anatomy of the Bighorn Sheep’s horn since the purpose of it is to fight without causing brain damage. Looking at the Saharan silver ant has the ability to reflect up to 80% of sunlight. And finally the Saiga Antelope, which has a particular form of the nose that makes it breathe and filter oxygen effectively.

What does your design solution do? How does it solve or mitigate the problem you selected? How did what you learn inform your design?

Our team designed a helmet that could reduce heat absorption, inspired by the Saharan Silver Ant, whose hairs could refract sunlight up which can be applied to the outer layer of the helmet by having a microscopic prisms-like shape on top. Considering the safety-wise, the Big Horned sheep’s horn can absorb impact by applying it into the outer layer of the helmet to reduce deaths in accidents. Lastly the helmet uses a unique ventilation system, which helps with cooling through the tube in front. Our team goal is to decrease the rate of deaths in Bangkok by increased helmet wearing.