Meet the Young Inventors
Canadian Youth Robotics Team Joins The Fight Against COVID-19
In the fight against COVID-19, science and healthcare professionals are doing what they can to help prevent the spread of the virus. Joining them in this fight are three young inventors from North Bay, Ontario, Canada. Their contribution? The “UV cube”. The original UV Cube, a do-it-yourself sterilizer kit, is about the size of a small oven. It was made from materials found at the local hardware store. This first design project and continued work by the girls, is what led to today’s “UV Qube it™“. Safe, Simple, Effective and Affordable were key words they kept in mind. Qube it™ uses UVC disinfection to kill COVID-19 and other germs. Qube it™ is a machine that stands on its own in comparison to other UVC disinfection machines, and dominates at a lower price point.
Ella, Fionna, and Emily are three young STEM students who wanted to find another way to safeguard themselves and others from COVID-19 and help stop the spread.
The girls are all members of FIRST Team 1305 Ice Cubed, a competitive robotics team consisting of youth from across North Bay. They used their contacts with other FIRST Robotics teams across the country to facilitate the construction and donation of the original UV Cube’s to health care and community organizers chosen by those FIRST Robotic teams.
Before Qube it™ came to be, most of the projects the girls were used to taking on as part of their robotics team were along the lines of community outreach. These projects included summer camps, science fairs, teaching STEM to kids and programming robots. It wasn’t until late March 2020, when COVID-19 started spreading throughout Canada, that everything changed.
A local emergency room doctor approached FIRST Team 1305 to ask them to produce a UVC sterilizer. The ER docs were putting their N95 masks in paper bags and reusing them 5 days later. The young inventors thought there had to be a better solution than that.
“We really didn’t start doing this to make money, which is what most people will assume,” said Ella “we really do want to help the spread of COVID-19. Our main focus is to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading.”
Throughout the Qube it™ creation process, the girls have experienced a number of great memories and lessons learned along the way, with all three finding excitement in the branding process, while learning new skills along the way.
COVID-19, meet Girl Power!
STEM is often thought of as a male-dominated field, but these three have helped bring “girl power” to light and are helping break this stereotype.
“There are a few people who still strongly believe it is a male-dominated field, so it’s nice when you accomplish something that you can say ‘see, we can do it too.” said Fionna.
As inventors, they have looked up to and received help from many, including their robotics teammates and mentors, their business partners, their family members, community members and local politicians.
Outside of inventing, the girls’ personal hobbies include horseback riding, competitive sport, swimming, travelling, winter sports, and more.
At the end of the day, the girls want to make a difference. Not only with Qube it™, but in their future engineering and bioengineering endeavours. And of course, they want to have fun along the way.
About FEME Innovations Inc.
FEME Innovations Inc. was established on the idea of creating a solution to affordable disinfection needs. FEME: pronounced “femme” is an acronym for Fionna, Emily and Ella. FEME is a female led company consisting of the girls and their parents along with business partner Jeff Alford, CEO of Cosmetics Brands Of North America.
You can read more about the story in this National Post article about the inventors: Go to National Post Article