When bright minds battle it out: Google Science Fair 2013
It is said that youth is the harbinger of progress and progressive change for any nation and in turn, the world. While I am not necessarily sold out on this notion, I do believe that the young gifted minds today are more perceptive and knowledgeable and play a sizable part in pushing for betterment of the world. Though not much of a science geek myself, the interest related to new inventions is somehow permanently vested in me. And looking at some of the finalist projects of Google Science Fair 2013, I would say that it is well justified.
In total, there are 15 projects that have been shortlisted for final judgment and I have highlighted those which I find have the potential to prove fruitful in the daily rungs of our lives. Having said that, this preference takes nothing away from the concepts and project ideas that are not mentioned as they are engaging in their own way.
1) Metallic Exoskeleton Glove
Whiz name: Charalampos Ioannou
Location: Athens, Greece
Having looked at his grandma struggling with the TV remote due to weak limbs in her hand, the 17-year old came up with the idea of designing a metallic exoskeleton glove to aid human limb response. The glove works by detecting human palm’s kinetic stimulus with pressure sensors and processing system that determines the areas of assistance and supports a user’s force in real time.
2) Banana Peels to Produce Bio-Plastic
Whiz name: Elif Bilgin
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
This project has won the “Science in Action” Prize and with good reason. Traditional plastic contains petroleum derivatives so it does not have much of a case in terms of being eco-friendly. Since banana peels are rich in starch, it served as an ideal raw material. And some failed experiments and chemicals later, Elif has been able to back up her hypothesis as her last sample of bio-plastic has been holding steady without any decay for over 2 months!
3) The Hollow Flashlight
Whiz Name: Ann Makosinski
Location: Victoria BC, Canada
This invention is definitely the product of an observant mind. The Hollow Flashlight project is based on human hands acting as the source of thermal energy through body heat to power up the torch. Though the light doesn’t glow very bright, a little bit of tweaking with addition of an extra layer of thermal heat transfer material and this Hollow Flashlight could be all set for commercialization!
4) The PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program
Whiz Name: Viney Kumar
Location: Sydney, Australia
This project idea does not only address a major issue but also has a high level of viability. Many a times ERVs are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic where honking and sirens turn out to be ineffective. The PART system will allow GPS-based alerts by ERVs to other vehicles which would improve the pickup and response times and will help save a lot of lives.
Conclusion: Too much GENIUS in one post!