By Tan Yew Kit (BAC Apprentice)
A young inventor, Maryam Muzamir, a Year 5 student from SK (P) Methodist in Kuantan, Pahang has recently won 3 international awards for her breakthrough invention, the YAM 2.0, which is a creation of livestock feed made from crustacean shells.
Maryam won 3 awards at the 6th International Invention Innovation Competition (iCAN) 2021, in Toronto, Canada, which is said to be the largest innovation and design competition in North America, with 600 participants from 70 countries this year. The 3 awards bagged are the Gold Medal, the Canadian Special Award, and the Best Young Inventor Award.
According to this young schoolgirl, this was her first victory abroad. Prior to this, Maryam has won numerous local awards for YAM 2.0. As reported by the New Straits Times, the respective awards were 2 gold medals at the Creation, Innovation, Technology & Research Exposition (Citrex) from last year and this year, along with a third gold at the International Research Invention and Innovation Exhibition (I-RIE) 2021.
Maryam has since become a household name and interest. Not only has she been receiving local media coverage, she was also highlighted in an episode of The Late Late Show by James Corden, on 23rd September, for her innovation at such a young age.
“You might have heard about this girl, it is absolutely incredible… Maryam Muzamir, she is an 11-year-old girl in Malaysia. She found a use for a common food waste, seafood shells and she makes them into a new sustainable healthy livestock feed. She is 11-years-old…” Corden said on his show recently.
The Late Late Show has also tweeted about Maryam, and the clip has since gone viral with over 650,000 views, and more than 18,000 retweets.
According to an interview with SAYS, Maryam’s father, Dr Muzamir Hassan said that the name “YAM” is a play on words of the word “yummy” and being inspired by a youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, Maryam wants to tackle the reported 15,000 tonnes of food waste that is being produced nationwide daily.
The idea of YAM 2.0 is said to come from one of the family trips to seafood restaurants where Maryam observed how much waste was being produced from these eateries, especially the amount of shells being dumped. Upon coming across an article that mentioned about the benefits of seafood shells for livestock, in particular a compound called chitin, Maryam then thought of this amazing idea.
Dr Muzamir said that they intend to take the product to the market next. After acquiring and synthesising large amounts of discarded shells from restaurant operators, Maryam has provided the prototyped product to a nearby dairy farm. The prototype can be seen in the image below:
We wish Maryam and her family all the best in their production of YAM 2.0. Together, let us all strive towards a greener Malaysia.
Congratulations! Well done and wishing you all the best Maryam!