A-level pupil develops security technology

The Chronicle

Midlands Bureau Chief
A 17-YEAR-OLD Zvishavane-based pupil, Patrice Machaya, who is doing A-level at Errymaple International School has designed an efficient and affordable passive infrared sensor.

Putting theory into practice, the teenager combined basic electronics and the coding from computer science to come out with the programmed security system.

A passive infrared sensor is an electronic sensor that measures infrared light radiating from objects in its field of view. They are most often used in PIR (Passive Infra-Red)-based motion detectors.

PIR detection is a technology used in security systems to detect movement or intruders by recognising light emitted from nearby objects. The PIR sensors are commonly used in security alarms and automatic lighting applications.

Patrice said the purpose of the gadget is to deter would-be criminals from breaking into houses.
His project was among the exhibitions showcased during the 2022 Midlands Show that was held at Gweru Show Grounds in July.

Machaya, who is majoring in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science and Chemistry, said he intends to pursue a career in software engineering.

“I am an A-level pupil at Errymaple International School in Zvishavane. I made a PIR motion sensor that uses infrared radiation to detect any human movement,” he said.

In the event of an intruder, the motion sensor senses the radiation and upon detecting it, the buzzer goes off alerting the building owner or security guards.

“I actually made this gadget in response to an increase cases of burglary in Zvishavane. This technology will therefore help in terms of detection.

“The security system uses a PIR motion sensor and a buzzer,” said Patrice.

“Any kind of motion it senses, the buzzer goes off alerting the home or buildin owner. So the system is going to be used by house owners or companies. It detects any kind of movement because it is very sensitive.”

The alarm system uses motion sensors around an entrance and rings upon detecting some movement.
“The sensor in a motion detector is actually split in two halves, which are wired up so that they cancel each other out.

If one half sees more or less IR radiation than the other, the output will swing high or low,” he said.
Patrice said the passive infrared sensor project, which he was experimenting on turned out to be working well.

“This was during the Errymaple Science Fair. I combined the basic electronics and the coding from computer science to come out with this programmed alarm system,” he said.

His project came first at the Zvishavane Cluster level during the 2022 High Schools Science Expo.
The main concept behind the Science Expo is for pupils to make projects that show initiative and innovation.

Dadaya High School

Patrice went on to excel at the Zvishavane District level beating renowned schools such as Dadaya High School and Zvishavane High School.

“I  came out tops in the A-level category for gadgets and proceeded to the Midlands Provincial competitions. I was also requested to exhibit my project at the 2022 Midlands Show in July,” he said.

Recently, President Mnangagwa advised university students against taking pride in acquiring academic certificates yet suffering a skills deficiency as they live in an era that is demanding skills that advance the elasticity of their minds to become problem solvers.

The President wants to see higher and tertiary education institutions playing a more significant role in national development and providing the essential knowledge and skills needed for production of quality goods and services for the industrialisation and modernisation of the nation.

National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1)

This means moving away from old traditional ways of teaching and learning to building an innovation-led and knowledge-driven economy by 2025 as espoused in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1).
Under the Second Republic, the Government is determined to have the qualified people investing their knowledge and skills to change their lives and those of others.
The country demands highly skilled personnel in all sectors of the economy as it strives to attain an upper middle-income economy status by 2030.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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