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Schoolgirl hopes to wow industry experts with eco-friendly invention

March 10th, 2016
Lisa and Marty Jopson, resident scientist on BBC One’s The One Show

An innovative schoolgirl is hoping to impress judges at a national science competition with her eco-friendly creation.

Lisa invented Xorbit, a car dehumidifier with a difference, to enter into an annual science, technology, engineering and maths contest at Haberdashers’ Monmouth School for Girls.

The 14-year-old was victorious in the HMSG STEM Challenge 2015, sponsored by Renishaw plc, and went on to win the British Science Association CREST prize for Innovation at the regional heat of Big Bang.

xorbit1Following judges’ advice, Lisa has made changes to improve Xorbit – which also functions as an air freshener and fits neatly into car cup-holders – in time for the national Big Bang Fair finals this month.

She said: “Everything about Xorbit is now compostable. The silica gel (which enables Xorbit to dehumidify the car) was already eco-friendly, but the cup was made out of plastic.

“Now it’s made out of PLA, a bioplastic, and the fragrance comes from a scented piece of wood, so the whole thing is completely compostable. I think this sets it apart even more from what’s already available.”

Just as she did during the regional round, Lisa will be manning her own Xorbit display stand and presenting her invention to an expert panel of judges during the Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC from March 16 to 19.

“I’m terrified but it’s going to be an amazing experience,” she said.

“Meeting all the other inventors there and seeing other people’s projects will be great. I think there will be some celebrity judges too.

“I’ve been practising my presentation – it would be an amazing bonus to win something.

“The Big Bang has been the destination I’ve been working towards for quite a while now. I’ve applied for a patent and we’re just waiting for confirmation now.”

Lisa, in Year 10, will be supported by school friends on Thursday, March 17, when Year 9 girls will travel to the NEC for the day.

This is the second time an HMSG invention has made it through to the Big Bang Fair final.

Sisters Sky,12, and Kia, 14, were named Junior Engineers of the Year in 2015 with their clever Crikey Bikey harness which helps adults teach children how to ride a bike safely.

The girls went on to appear on BBC Two programme Dragons’ Den, and won support from panelist Touker Suleyman who has been mentoring them since the show aired.


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