Students design tool to gauge moods of cancer patients - GulfToday

Students design tool to gauge moods of cancer patients


Participating students came up with several unique ideas putting the elements of their kits together to create tools that can identify cancer symptoms.

The second edition of Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP)’s unique youth awareness initiative, the annual Ana-vation School Championship, which seeks to educate the UAE’s school-goers about common signs of paediatric cancers and empower them to come up with realistic DIY solutions to detect these signs and help young cancer patients, has just finished its school visits phase.

This comes after the edition was launched in early February with the distribution of Ana-vation’s DIY robotic kits based on Ana-vation’s Steam (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education programme to 150 students from participating schools. These kits are being used by students as young as 11 years to create devices, using their knowledge of Steam, that can tackle the seven major symptoms of paediatric cancers.

On these visits, the Ana-vation tech team has supervised and facilitated the birth of project design ideas students in all participating schools envisioned. In past months, both students and supervising teachers have been undergoing specialised training, received guidance from trainers about how to come up with ideas, how to use proper research techniques, how to present their projects, and how to collaborate to succeed.

Participating students have come up with several unique ideas putting the elements of their kits together to create simple inventions and detection tools that can identify cancer symptoms. These range from a bed that can measure a child’s weight loss, a binocular or similar microscopic device that can inspect a white-eye pupil, an emotion evaluation system that detects fluctuations in the moods of young cancer patients, a robot to take care of a patient’s medicinal needs, to a scratch sensor-enabled camera that will keep a tab on a child’s vitals and report to the doctor and parents. 

Student groups enrolled into the schools championship have been hard at work with their DIY Robotics manuals with six project examples, and kits comprising three different varieties of controllers – pre-programmed and those programmable with standard software like Tronz and Scratch; and 10 types of sensors that detect pulse, humidity, temperature, light and other physiological and environmental changes to ensure they have the freedom to express themselves while building their prototypes.

Teachers’ training is a new Ana-vation feature, under which they have learnt about practical assembling of robotic models, and how to utilise Steam framework and methods to integrated sciences, which is the premise for students to build their projects.

The objective of this training is to equip teachers in participating schools with the expertise they need to guide and mentor students who have signed up for the championship. 

Ana-vation’s technical team will continue to offer trouble shooting and technical assistance till all projects come to fruition and are presented at the schools championship slated for May 2, 2019.

Crescent Petroleum are the main sponsors of the Ana-vation School Championship.

Ana, an Arabic word which means ‘I’ in English, is a childhood cancer initiative that falls under Friends of Cancer Patients’ umbrella “Kashf” for early detection of cancer. Ana seeks to raise awareness about the seven common warning signs of childhood cancer and highlight the importance of early detection, as childhood cancer is the fourth most common cause of death among children under 15 years old in industrialised nations, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics.

FOCP was established to help alleviate the financial and emotional burden that cancer often imposes on patients and their families, and to promote awareness about the six early detectable forms of the disease; breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, testicular cancer and colorectal cancer. Since being founded in 1999, FOCP has provided support to more than 5,000 cancer patients of all ages and nationalities across the UAE.

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