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Creative children around the world
Wireless Cardiac Exam: Low-cost Electrocardiogram Technology.
Catherine Wong, aged 17
Catherine Wong, while a student at Morriston High School, New Jersey, USA, was inspired by an exhibit called “Design for the Other 98 Percent.” She developed a telemedicine device using cell phone and submitted it to the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search where she was a finalist. She developed”A Novel Design for Wireless Low-Cost Cardiac Examination Over the Mobile Phone Platform”. Itprovides the mechanism for real-time transmission of medical data through a cell phone, providing access to health care to nearly two-billion people in remote or underdeveloped areas of the world. Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute in California remarked that Wong’s project “is the kind of technology that ‘flattens the earth’ for better medical care.”
Electrocardiograms currently cost as much as $4,000. However, Catherine Wong’s project could see such potentially-life-saving procedures cost $250. She has used a mature technology, in the belief that refining an old technology is going to be more cost effective than a new one.
Erin Colfax, a teacher in the Science Academy at Morristown High School, who has served as Wong’s research mentor for three years reports that “Cathy is an intrinsically-motivated person that wants to impact society.” She also is not done with further exploring mobile phone technology. “I would really like to see how many diagnostic tools can be made by adaptingthem to the mobile phone,” she said.
http://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown/mhs-senior-finalist-in-prestigious-science-talent-search (accessed 15.1.14)
Kenyan Teenager Made a Simple Device to Stop Elephant Poaching
Mercy Sigey, aged 19
When Mercy Sigey was three years old her parents would take her to safari reserves in her native Kenya. Sigey, now 19, told those present at the United Nations Social Good Summitheld in September this yearabout her plan to fight poaching in Kenya’s animal reserves and around the world.In May, a poacher’s poison arrow killed Satao, an elephant who was more than 45 years old. More than 20,000 African elephants were killed last year for their tusks. Satao’s tusks weighed at least 100 pounds, and when poachers killed him they cut them out of his head and left his body on the ground.
Moved by Satao’s death, Sigey developed adevice that notifies park officials when poachers cross into the reserves.Along with her classmates, Sigey built a simple sensor that can detect movement in a nine-meter radius. The students received support from the Innovate Kenya program, which isa part ofGlobal Minimum, a nonprofit that focuses on youth education and helps students in Africa solve problems in their communities.
By placing Arduinos - small, open-source hardware boards that act as environmental sensors - throughout the boundary of the park, the group might be able to notify park officials of the presence of poachers and wildfires.There are limitations of this idea but that does not matter at the stage of imagination (Ed.)
http://www.bemagazine.org/?p=10226 (accessed 15.1.14)
Teen Invents a New Way to Communicate by Using Your Breath
Arsh Shah Dilbagi
Arsh Shah Dilbagi is a 16-year-old from India may revolutionize the way people with disabilities communicate. He is one of 18 finalists in Google’sGlobal Science Fair. This report from www.notimpossiblenow.com (accessed 15.1.14) describes Talkis an augmentative and alternative communication device (AAC). It is used for people with disorders and disabilities that need assistance to speak. Dilbagi’s device is said to be both speedy and affordable.
In his report he observes that developmental disabilities are likely to be higher in areas of poverty, and available AAC devices costs thousands of dollars, making them out of reach of the most in need.Talk works by deciphering breaths and translating them into Morse code. The code then gets translated into one of the device’s voice options. Dilbagi believes that the sheer simplicity of this proposal will make the device three times faster than other AAC devices. He is also planning to make it a much more affordable option. While other AACs reply on eye movement or muscles that still operate, Talk, on the other hand, simply needs the ability to breathe. It also translates the speech in real time.
“Talk will definitely make the world a better place to live for people with developmental disabilities and speech impairments by enabling them to communicate and express themselves like never before,” Dilbagi said. The Global Science Fair is held for teams and individuals between the ages of 13 to 18. The winner receives a $50,000 scholarship.
http://www.notimpossiblenow.com/the-latest/talk-augmentative-alternative-communication (accessed 15.1.14)
http://www.ndtv.com/article/offbeat/panipat-teen-develops-device-to-convert-breath-into-words-591199 (accessed 15.1.14)
Two Teenage Girls Have Invented the Most Powerful Video Game of the Year
Sophie Houser and Andy Gonzales
New Yorkers Sophie Houser, 17, and Andy Gonzales, 16, created the video last summer as part of theGirls Who Codesummer immersion program, which aims to school at least 1 million young women in computer science by 2020.Houser and Gonzales are receiving wildly positive feedback and say the game has been played more than 100,000 times online.
“One of the most incredible things is that with a little bit of code and the Internet, some girls in New York can make something that can reach people around the world,” Houser told Mic in an interview. This is the report of the invention by mic.com.
The friends met at Girls Who Code and decided to build a game with a social mission. Gonzales wanted to develop something with a feminist twist and initially thought of parodying the hypersexualization of women in video games. As they were developing their concept, Houser joked that they should have a character throwing tampons at people. After a good laugh, the two realized that was exactly what they should do. They wanted to challenge perceptions about women and things we’re not comfortable talking about, but should be.
“It’s something we’d both experienced,” said Gonzales. “It’s a problem in Western countries and around the world. People don’t want to talk about periods. In other countries, women have to isolate themselves.”
Unusual video games that challenge social norms, and the fact that a pair of young women builtTampon Run are a powerful reminder of the opportunity in tech and gaming. Males and females play video games about equally, yet video game developers are 76% male. The Entertainment Software Association’s 2014 report offers some interesting statistics on who gamers really are.
“I don’t think there were any guys thinking about making a tampon game,” said Houser. “By having a lot more diversity [in the industry], it means the ideas and the products that come out of it will relate to a lot more people.” It’s a big blind spot for many game developers. Houser and Gonzales are now helping to define a new future for women in the industry and after going through Girls Who Code, both want to mentor younger girls that want to get into tech and gaming too.
http://mic.com/articles/100672/two-teenage-girls-have-invented-the-most-powerful-video-game-of-the-year (accessed 15.1.14)
First Grader Becomes Youngest Person to Ever Develop a Mobile Game
At only seven years old, Zora Ball is the youngest person to develop a mobile game app. She participated in the University of Pennsylvania’s FATE Bootstrap Expo in December 2012 (usually for ages 12 to 16), working with the Bootstrap programming language. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the first-grade programmer was able to reconfigure her app immediately after being asked, proving that she did all of the work herself.
A Sandless Sandbag for the next Hurricane Sandy
As a Florida native, 11-year-old Peyton Robertson knows the havoc that hurricanes can wreak. He also knows that much of the damage from these hurricanes comes from saltwater flooding. After seeing the extensive flooding that happened during Hurricane Sandy, he came up with a partial solution: lightweight sand-less sandbag that’s purportedly more effective than traditional sandbags. His idea recently won the $25,000 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which crowned Robertson as “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
“Sandbags are great in flood protection, but they can be heavy and hard to transport,” he explains. Robertson’s sandbag, developed with guidance from a 3M mentor, contains salt and an expandable polymer instead of sand. The mixture is lightweight when dry, weighing about one or two pounds. But when inundated with water, Robertson’s sandbag expands and becomes denser than seawater. An interlocking fastener system, also developed by Robertson, keeps multiple bags in place while the polymer expands, ensuring that water doesn’t seep into gaps between them.
This isn’t Robertson’s first invention. Before the sandbag, Robertson developed both a golf ball warmer and retractable training wheels (designed for his sister, who was learning to ride a bike). “I love learning about things in the world that are hard to explain. You can find science in everything,” he says.
This probably won’t be the end of Robertson’s work on sandbags. “I filed a provisional patent for the invention in the Young Scientist Challenge, and I would love to keep working on that—to help people with saltwater flood damage,” he says.
http://www.fastcoexist.com/3020697/this-brilliant-kid-invented-a-sand-less-sandbag-for-the-next-hurricane-sandy (accessed 15.1.14)
Teen Invents Sensor to help Alzheimer’s Patients
Kenneth Shinozuka, Irvine, California, aged 15
Kenneth Shinozuka will soon start eleventh grade. He’s a Boy Scout and a lover of the outdoors, and he wants to someday cure Alzheimer’s Diseasebased on a report by NBC News.
Shinozuka has invented a pressure sensor that when worn on the bottom of the foot or with a sock detects an increase in pressure and wirelessly sends an alert to a caregiver’s smartphone. Not only did Shinozuka come up with the gadget from scratch and teach himself how to make it, but he’s also beta testing it on patients in his summer vacation.
“Pressure is applied, the alert is sounded,” says Shinozuka, squeezing the white, lima-bean sized sensor and triggering a musical chime on the iPhone in his other hand.In assisted living facilities across the country, many of the sensors used to detect when seniors have fallen or left an area have burdensome wires that must be clipped to clothing and loud alarms that frighten patients. Shinozuka’s device instead directly alerts the caregiver via a wireless signal.
That idea came from personal experience.”My grandfather has lost the capability to eat by himself, to walk by himself, definitely to write and read. He can barely speak anymore. So it’s very hard,” says Shinozuka. He added, “It’s also very hard for my aunt, his primary caregiver, since she’s the one who has to take care of him all the time.”
Shinozuka’s grandfather, Deming, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when Shinozuka was four years old and he regularly wanders out of bed at night. In the first six months Shinozuka attached his device, called the “Safe Wander,” to his grandfather’s sock, it detected all of Deming’s 437 known cases of wandering out of bed with no false alarms.
His mother, Maria Feng, remembers that breakthrough. “We were so proud, and we also felt the power of the invention, the power of the technology. It was such a great moment.” Now, Shinozuka hopes to bring that “moment” to more families. “I hope that my device will ultimately reach out to the tens of millions of wandering patients around the world and also relieve the burdens on their caregivers,” he said.
His innovation has already won him a $50,000 prize and “Science in Action” award from Scientific American Magazine.He will also compete in the Google Science Fair in September in California. But he’s looking farther into the future than that: he hopes to be a neuroscientist and specialize in engineering and computer science.
“I’d like to solve some of the mysteries of the brain, and invent tools to ultimately, I think, cure Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions that our aging population suffers from,” says Shinozuka.
http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/making-a-difference/teen-invents-sensor-help-alzheimers-patients-n203231 (accessed 15.1.14)
Teenager Invents Water Purifier that Creates Electricity with no External Power Source
Cynthia Lam, Balwyn High School, Melbourne Australia
In April 2013, out of curiosity and her love for chemistry, Cynthia started her first research on Titania’sPhotocatalysis. She investigated the optimum conditions for photocatalytic hydrogen generation and won the Major Bursary in Victoria’s Science Talent Search. It was a very rewarding and exciting experience for her to complete a research project, and she was motivatedto challenge herself to create a helpful device that puts what she investigated into practice. This is a report based on her project statement submitted to Google Science Fair.
“Is it possible to create a portable device that purifies wastewater while generating electricity sustainably and affordably?” This was the question Cynthia asked not only because of thelack of clean water and electricity in third-world countries, but also because of the energy crisis and water pollutionproblems faced in many parts of the world. The objective was to find an eco-friendly and economicalapproach to solve both issues.
In photocatalysis, not only is water purified and sterilized, but hydrogen is also produced through water-splitting, which can be used to generate electricity. The entire sustainable process only needs titania and light - no additional power source is required. However, hydrogen production is generally low since photo-excited electrons tend to fall back to the hole (i.e.photo induced electron-hole combination). Fortunately, it can be overcome by adding reductants, while some organic pollutants serve such purpose. So the two mechanisms were combined together to enhance the yield and lower the cost of hydrogen generation, meanwhile efficient water purification was also achieved.
It is hypothesized that photocatalysis can be applied in a manageable scale that allows water purification and electricity production to be economically and sustainably performed in a portable device as well as at a household level.
There is an existing design for mobile hydrogen energy and water supply, although feasible, that design needs an external solar power source to purify water and produce hydrogen through an electrolyzer, which makes it costlier and less efficient. This inspired Cynthia to create a self-sustainable portable device that can purify waste water and produce electricity through only photocatalysis (without any additional electricity source).
https://www.googlesciencefair.com/projects/en/2014 77b0af7d78199d72bb8b7b077459fcc0c443cabde6ec 353188e8c08dd551cb83 (accessed 15.1.14)
Honey Bee 25(3) 18-21, 2014