Naser Al-Jemaz has been a member of The Kuwait Science Club (KSC) since 2008. Granted, he is now sixteen years old, which means he was eight when he joined the club! In addition, he has been a researcher since the tender age of 12. His list of achievements since finding his calling as an environmentalist and inventor is both impressive and flabbergasting, since he is still in high school.
Naser, you recently won a silver medal at one of the most important inventors competitions globally. This was at the 44th annual exhibition convention of inventors in Geneva this year. Can you tell us more about your invention?
It is a technique to make plastic in a new way that is safer, healthier and protects the environment. My invention collects the excess amount of carbon dioxide – which causes an increase in diseases and weakens the environment – from factories and areas where it is prevalent and converts it successfully using an epoxide, which is a chemical that converts the carbon dioxide and then dries up, forming into a plastic called propylene carbonate.
Most children at the age of eight want to watch movies, play computer games or hang out with their friends. You, however, chose to join a prestigious science club. What drove this desire at such a young age?
To be honest, there was a time when I was one of those children who would rather play games and watch movies. But what changed my viewpoint was my realization that entertaining oneself will only make you temporarily happy, but feeding your mind with knowledge lasts forever and can help you later on in life. Knowledge can become your daily entertainment.
Also, my love of chemistry came about several days after joining the science club. This shows that not everyone knows if they like something until they try it. I want to tell all children and teenagers to try something new, until they find a hobby that will feed their minds and make them accomplish great things in life.
You have been actively involved in research for the last four years. What is your field of expertise?
In these last four years, I entered a lot of courses to increase my skill sets; and I have a little experience in Robotics, General Biology and Chemistry – mostly Environmental Chemistry. I earned these experiences with the help of various scientific organizations in Kuwait, including Kuwait Science Club (KSC).
One of your goals is to become the youngest inventor in Kuwait. In fact, you mentioned that you were actually on the verge of fulfilling this dream. What steps are you currently taking to bring this invention to life?
Currently, my invention has been postponed until my certificate comes from abroad. But, with the help of Sabah Al Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity (SAC), we can hopefully cooperate with a company that produces plastic to apply my invention here in Kuwait. This will fulfill a big part of my dream. Then, one step at a time, I hope we can make it global.
Lastly, environmentalism is very important to you. Can you leave us with a few suggestions on how to reduce our carbon footprint?
Lately, people are starting to realize the importance of our environment and are starting to take action toward protecting it.
As for reducing our carbon footprint, first of all, do not throw waste anywhere else besides the bin, preferably a recycling bin if it is a recyclable material. Secondly, try not to use your vehicle all the time. Walking is much better for our environment. If you have to use a car, though, do not suddenly accelerate, so you do not have carbon monoxide coming out of your exhaust pipe. Thirdly, use both sides of paper instead of one side. Finally, switch off any electrical devices when you are not using them.
You can follow Naser Aljemaz on his Instagram account: @naseraljemaz. You can follow Nejoud Al-Yagout on Instagram @nejoud.alyagout and facebook.com/thisisanimprint. Or you can find out more about her books and events on her website www.nejoudalyagout.com.