Erie Alchemists Invited to the 2020 State of the City – Made in Chandler Expo


Erie Alchemists with Chandler Vice-Mayor Rene Lopez and Director of Public Works and Utilities, Mr. John Knudsen. Photo courtesy of Aksh Iyer.

Five of ACP’s extraordinary sophomores, Brendan Zuzak, Daniel Merritt, Eli Martin, Robby Glanville, and Aksh Myer, were invited to the 2020 State of the City – Made in Chandler Expo on February 20th. The group of five, known as the Erie Alchemists, designed their own air freshener, which was tested for VOC, or Volatile Organic Compounds, which can be dangerous. The product, named Smart Scents, was found to have no harmful side affects of VOCs that can cause health hazards.

I asked one of the sophomores, Aksh Iyer, for an interview. A bright and cheerful student whom I have the honor of being friends with, Aksh happily complied:

Aksh, left with his fellow alchemists, designed an air freshener that will be showcased at the upcoming Chandler Expo. Photo courtesy of Aksh Iyer.

Q: What is your product? What does it do? 

A: The Erie Alchemists created the Smart Scents pouches, which are VOC-free alternatives to VOC air fresheners that last a very long time; it freshens up the smell of the room. They are reusable sacks that you can microwave, and from there the smell will spread throughout the room.

Q: How long have you been working on this product?

A: It has been a year and a half since we started working on the Smart Scents.

Q: Why did you originally decide to do this? Why?

A: Originally, the motivation was behind a Lexus Eco Challenge grant, but when that ended, the team decided they wanted to build upon Smart Scents as an actual consumer good. Now we are looking to start selling the product on the market, and getting a patent for it.

Q: Who came up with the idea? When?

A: We came up with the idea in 2018 during our freshmen year. The idea was brought up in order to complete the Lexus Eco grant challenge.

Q: How did you feel when you first heard that you were invited to the Expo?

A: We were surprised to be invited; we didn’t think that our product would get this opportunity to show itself. We felt like we could go somewhere with this and that we were going to be successful.

The second prototype of Smart Scents. Photo courtesy of Aksh Iyer.

Q: What does being invited to the Expo mean for your product?

A: It means we have to keep working and perfecting the product. Also, it indicates that news of our product is going to start spreading, and we will probably get more prominence. The product will be successful and we can start getting the word out on it. Hopefully, our product will be a success, but we still have to work on it.

Q: How exactly do Smart Scents work?

A: In order to have the scent sack work, you have to put it in the microwave for like 25 to 30 seconds, or it has to have some heat applied to it. Also, this product will be sold for a cheap price of about $5. The scent lasts for a long time after production.

Thank you so much to Aksh for taking the time to teach us a little about his new group product. Congratulations to Brendan, Daniel, Eli, Robby, and Aksh for such an outstanding accolade. Way to go, Knights!