“Germaphobes” Building International Space Station Sanitizing Robot

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The Germaphobes

Keeping things sanitized has been on everyone’s mind the past several months.

Naperville North senior Alayna Nguyen and her team, The Germaphobes, have taken that ‘one small step’ further by building a robot that could help sanitize the International Space Station.

“As a team we stumbled upon this one article that told us about how UVC lights are used to eradicate bacteria because of their strong abilities,” said Alayna. “And we thought that lent pretty well to sanitation.”

Working Together Online

The Germaphobes have never met each other except on Zoom calls and Alayna has never actually seen the robot she’s helped program. In fact, the rest of the team had to instruct the teammate building the robot how to assemble the circuit board over Zoom.

NASA TI Codes Contest

It’s all a part of their submission to the NASA TI Codes Contest. The Germaphobes are one of 10 finalists vying for the top prize of a set of TI rovers and innovator hubs. If they win, they plan on donating the prizes to their high schools.

“We were talking about what kind of classes we were taking next year and we all came across the fact that none of our schools offer an electronics course,” said Alayna. “So we’re hoping that by donating the TI technology that allows students to build robotics and also code the robotics using a calculator, hopefully we can bring that electronics experience more to our communities.”

Pursuing a Career

The experience has been so rewarding, Alayna has even considered making a career of it.

“Just from this experience with working with a team of students who I’ve never met before, I feel like that was a really good glimpse into what it would be like to work in the industry with NASA or companies like that, so that’s definitely I something I would be interested in pursuing,” she said.

Vote Now!

You can vote for The Germaphobes by following this link through September 14.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.


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