Next fall, Gulliver Prep senior Joyce Chen will be at MIT pursing a degree in computer science and computer engineering. Which gives her just another area to excel as she is currently in both the engineering and architecture programs and is a member of the Robotics Club.
Her engineering projects include working on making improvements to the Pill Minder, a storage unit for prescription drugs that reminds user when to take their medications. It was the school’s entry in the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge last year.
She also is working on updating and improving the water filtration system developed by previous Gulliver students.
“In the past years we’ve sent out devices to Haiti and Nigeria. This year our team has planned two devices to be sent to the Philippines,” she said. “Last year they pretty much finalized the design. This year we have improved it from what we’ve learned from having feedback from a village in Nigeria.”
Improvements include reducing the size of the storage tank and using universal parts instead of custom parts.
“The current design we have will make it easier for the teams after us,” she said. “We’ve made it easy for them to adapt the system to a country’s specifics.”
This year’s entry in the Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge is a Vac Pac, a space saving suitcase.
“To increase the amount of personal belongings you can put in a suitcase,” she said. “In order to avoid the checkout line and retrieve it from the bag claims.”
The suitcase has a vacuum pump integrated into the suitcase.
Chen finds it useful to combine what she has learned in engineering, architecture and art to help her with the projects.
“Architecture really helps with designing things, like the pill minder,” she said. “The artistic side opens more doors. It makes me think of alternates more often.”
Chen also puts all those concepts to work in the Robotics Club.
For fun, Chen volunteers at Fairchild Tropical Garden. “I do face painting for their festivals,” she said.
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld