JOHOR BARU: The current nationwide lockdown has not stopped a science teacher from coming up with ideas for her next invention.
S. Gomathy from SJKT Kangkar Pulai, who has won numerous international awards for her inventions, is now thinking of turning used face masks into construction material such as bricks.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a lot of used and discarded masks everywhere. I am trying to find a way to turn this item into something beneficial,” she said in an interview.
Gomathy, 48, said she was still in the early stages of exploring the idea as she needed to collect data to support her research.
“I need to work with an engineer to find out the industry standards for bricks, their size and durability and the moulds to make them,” she said, adding that she was confident that she would be able to roll out her latest invention in the next few months.
Gomathy said it could probably be a first as previously, an inventor from China had made bricks using discarded plastic bottles.
“All these inventions help save the environment as we are finding new uses for discarded materials,” she said, adding that since the pandemic hit last year, she has recycled her used face masks to plant at least seven types of herbs at home.
She uses the face masks as the soil and base to grow herbs such as coriander, ginger, garlic, onions, mint, basil and mung beans.
Gomathy, who has won more than 120 awards in the past 13 years, including 73 international awards, said she loved science and constantly wanted to invent things.
The mother of two, who has been teaching for 24 years, recently clinched five medals at the Romanian Investors Forum at the end of last month for her hair oil product.
On June 7, she was announced as the outstanding science teacher of the year in a competition in India.