BOCA RATON – Jerry O’Donnell’s big idea to help people in developing countries earned him $10,000, and the opportunity to take his invention from the drawing board to the production line.
O’Donnell, a science teacher at Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton, was one of 10 recipients of a $10,000 “InfyMakers” award from the Infosys Foundation USA. The money will go toward development of the “Nebutyre,” which O’Donnell invented while attending the Science and Engineering Program for Teachers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the summer of 2014.
During one session at MIT, a presenter told the group about the need for technology in developing countries that don’t have consistent access to electricity.
“He told of a father who saved his son’s life by using a bicycle pump as a pressure source to run a standard nebulizer for his son’s treatment,” O’Donnell said. “The ‘Nebutyre’ is a take-off of this idea and goes one step further, making the treatment as effective as any received by any nebulizer that uses electricity to run a pump.”
The “Nebutyre” uses the high pressure and volume of air in a standard car or truck tire to deliver nebulizer treatments to patients. It reduces the air pressure to what’s needed to effectively treat a patient for between 5 and 9 minutes – all without requiring electricity.
Once O’Donnell returned home from MIT, he bought supplies and got to work on a prototype. He involved his Eagles Landing students in building and testing the prototype, and they helped name it.
“I pulled my class in on it,” O’Donnell said. “I didn’t want to do it alone.”
The money O’Donnell received from the InfyMakers award will go toward clinical trials and other work on the “Nebutyre.” It will also go toward a pizza party for his students.
To learn more about the InfyMakers award and to watch a video about the “Nebutyre,” visit www.infymakers.com.