Student Inventors: Girl Power

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Students can be creative innovators and inventors to whom we owe some of our most impressive technological breakthroughs. Today we honor three teen inventors who have achieved great success by thinking outside of the box.

Ann Makosinski

Ann has invented a hollow flashlight that is powered by the heat of your hand. Ann is a grade 10 student from St. Michael’s University School in Victoria, Canada who beat out hundreds of other entrants to get her flashlight into the finals of the Google Science Fair. “I’m really interested in harvesting surplus energy, energy that surrounds but we never really use,” said Ann.

Ann is interested in utilizing alternate energy sources for everyday tasks. While researching alternative energy sources, Ann stumbled upon Peltier tiles which create energy when they are heated on one side and cooled on the other.

She ordered some tiles off the internet and found that body heat produced more than enough energy to light an LED, but not enough voltage. Ann tried several transformers to up the voltage; she even built her own. Finally after months of research and experimentation (along with her regular schooling and extra mural activities) she finally found a circuit that worked.

You can see more on Ann’s invention here

Elif Bilgin

Elif comes from Istanbul, Turkey and is the country’s first winner of the 2013 Science in Action award at the Google Science Fair for her bioplastic which she developed from banana peels. It was a long process for Elif who tried 10 different iterations of plastics before she found one that didn’t biodegrade too quickly and was strong enough for commercial use. “Even Thomas Edison said, ‘I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work,’” Elif said about the long road of trial and error that eventually led to a successful prototype.

Elif hopes that her plant-based plastics will replace some of the petroleum-based plastics on the market and improve the environmental impact that plastics have.

Eesha Khare

Eesha is an American student who has invented a supercapacitor. This incredible device will replace conventional batteries in everyday electronics. Eesha’s electrochemical supercapacitor can be charged in 20 seconds, hold a charge for longer and lasts for more recharges than conventional batteries. Eesha’s invention can be recharged 10,000 times as opposed to the 1,000 charges a conventional battery is able to endure. Eesha hopes that her invention will help to reduce waste and improve the environment.

Student inventors remind us that a good idea and a lot of hard work mean that anyone can be successful at any age. Inspire your students to greatness for their next science fair projects.

See Eesha’s interview with Conan O’Brian here.

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