WE Are Innovators
Fostering Innovation and Sustainable Solutions
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and WE, an organization that makes doing good doable, launched the ‘WE Are Innovators’ campaign to engage young people in applying chemistry, science and innovation to the issues such as food waste. Representatives from Thailand and other nations were given the opportunity to gain hands-on volunteer experience on a study tour to Ecuador. A teacher and two students from Rayongwittayakom School, Kanyanisa Narksawat (Tak), Project Advisor, Suthatchaya Muangpare (Ampere) and Arnon Ronsiri (Ice) presented their invention, a “Food Waste Converter” which produces biogas from food waste at schools.
Decha Panichayapichet, Site Director of Dow Thailand Group, said “The WE Are Innovators campaign inspires students to create inventions and innovative solutions with STEM in order to build a sustainable future. The teacher and students from Rayong were able to broaden their horizons by exchanging ideas and engaging in discussion with other candidates. This has showcased the potential of Thai youngsters at a global level and provided them with valuable experiences throughout the trip activities, such as problem-solving skills, and hands-on practice. We believe that this opportunity will support other projects in their community in the future.”
The ‘Food Waste Converter’ is an invention derived from STEM learning. The idea was inspired from food waste at the school where students noticed that a large portion became leftovers for farm pigs. The rest remained unused and could lead to germs and bacteria. Therefore, they developed a 15-20-day fermentation process where gas is released from the food waste because of anaerobic digestion. They applied the scientific process to turn the waste into biogas – methane - which can be used for cooking gas and fuel generators as well as as organic fertilizer. The team was awarded a $1,500 grant to improve their project and pass on their knowledge to other schools and nearby communities.
Arnon Ronsiri, 10th grade student in the science enrichment program at Rayongwittayakom, said “It has been my childhood dream to become a scientist. Inventing things and exploring new things are my hobbies. The WE are Innovators campaign provided me with critical thinking skills, enabled me to create a project beneficial to our school, and brought our innovative project to life. Above all, Dow made it possible for me to join the immersive volunteer trip first time overseas.”
Suthatchaya Muangpare, 10th grade student in the science enrichment program at Rayongwittayakom, added “My parents taught me how to produce biogas for household use. The project was inspired by a common problem at our school. I plan to keep improving the overall effectiveness of our Food Waste Convertor, such as preventing gas leaks and maximizing its capability so that it can produce enough fuel for one family. I believe we will achieve more if we strive hard and never give up.”
Both children had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador for cultural exchange and to share their innovations with other candidates. Ecuador is a developing country and some of the locals are not able to access infrastructure services. The students’ projects, including the Food Waste Converter, can help guide local people to sustainable solutions and raise living standards in their communities. That’s why the WE Are Innovators campaign challenges the next generation of young leaders to solve local and global issues by thinking outside the box and paves the way for a sustainable future.
“Arnon and Suthatchaya built the user-friendly biogas system to solve a problem at their local school. They did the research and completed the project by themselves. My role was to guide and be their advisor. Dow gave us an invaluable opportunity to experience Ecuador first-hand. We witnessed the obstacles faced by local people who depend on renewable energy which does make a world a better place to live in. The trip to Ecuador inspired the children to improve their thinking and continue to develop their project and others in the future.” Kanyanisa Narksawat, Project advisor, concluded.
Apart from the Food Waste Converter as the winning project, other awarded inventions included the Smart Bin from Srisawatwittayakarn School in Nan, the Fertilizer Pot for Bug Killing from Bangpakok Wittayakom School in Bangkok and the Eco-Fume Hood from Prachin Ratsadorn Amroong School in Prachinburi. The next phase of the WE Are Innovators campaign will be open for project submission in the fourth quarter of this year. Please stay tuned for more information and follow Dow Thailand Group’s News Center.
Decha Panichayapichet, Site Director of Dow Thailand Group, presenting the award to Rayongwittayakom School
Activities in Ecuador
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
About Dow Thailand Group
Consisting of Companies of Dow Chemical Thailand and the SCG-Dow Group, Dow Thailand Group, the leading science group of companies in Thailand, is the largest manufacturing base of Dow Chemical in the Asia-Pacific region and a leading importer of chemical products for diverse industries in Thailand, such as packaging, transportation, infrastructure, automotive, medical and consumer care. The group is committed to developing science-driven innovations and strives to form effective collaborations and networks to bring about sustainability for its business as well as society.