Science & Technology

4 Young Innovators Capture Google Science Fair Awards

Google on Monday introduced the winners of its Science Fair, awarding three college students for his or her revolutionary concepts in public well being, different vitality and app growth.

4 Young Innovators Capture Google Science Fair Awards

The corporate’s third annual competitors drew contestants between 13 and 18 years of age from greater than 120 international locations. Google this summer time introduced 15 finalists, all of whom had been invited to the corporate’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters final weekend to current their closing initiatives to a panel of judges.

The judges named winners in three age classes. Scientific American teamed up with the Google Science Fair to call a fourth contestant the “Scientific American Science in Motion” winner.

Flu Fighter

The winner of the 17-18 age group prize, Eric Chen, additionally captured the grand prize for his work growing computational fashions designed to assist cease the unfold of the influenza virus. The San Diego pupil arrange 3D designs of a number of strains of the influenza virus, then screened half one million potential chemical compounds by way of his mannequin to find out which might act as potential drugs to kill the flu. He recognized 237 that would work as drug candidates.

4 Young Innovators Capture Google Science Fair Awards

Winners of the Google Science Fair: (From Left) Viney Kumar, 14; Ann Makosinski, 15; Elif Bilgin, 16; and Eric Chen, 17

Ann Makosinski of Victoria, Canada, received the 15-16 class for her

(*4*). The flashlight is powered by Peltier tiles and the vitality from the human hand as an alternative of batteries. The flashlight — together with the opposite science honest entries that centered on different vitality merchandise — addresses one of many best wants within the growing world, mentioned Dave Irvine-Halliday, a professor within the Division of Electrical & Pc Engineering on the
University of Calgary.

“We can not have sufficient good different energy-powered merchandise for this market,” he informed TechNewsWorld. “There are round 1.5 billion individuals on the earth right this moment who haven’t any entry to grid electrical energy, and that quantity will develop over the following few a long time because the world inhabitants will increase — thus the dire want for good different vitality merchandise.”

Viney Kumar took dwelling the highest prize within the 13-14 age group. The Australian teen developed an Android app referred to as “PART,” for “Police and Ambulances Regulating Site visitors.” The app makes use of GPS knowledge to alert drivers greater than a minute earlier than an ambulance or emergency response car is coming, permitting them to clear the trail for the car to assist assure responders do not get caught in site visitors.

Going Bananas

The Scientific American Science in Motion award went to Elif Bilgin, a 16-year-old from Turkey, who spent two years growing a bioplastic constructed from banana peels. The award is designed to honor a mission that’s revolutionary and straightforward to place into motion in communities worldwide to handle an environmental, well being or assets problem.

Bilgin turned satisfied that the starch and cellulose within the skins of bananas, mangoes or potatoes may very well be used to create a plastic. She experimented with 10 totally different combos earlier than she created a robust one that did not decay too quickly. Her hope is that the fabric can change petroleum-based plastics.

Future Innovators

All of the winners will obtain prizes from Google and its Science Fair companions, which embrace CERN, Scientific American and Nationwide Geographic. Grand prize winner Chen received a visit to the Galapagos Islands and a US$50,000 scholarship. Bilgin, the Science in Motion winner, can even take dwelling a $50,000 prize and obtain a 12 months’s price of mentoring to assist her additional her work.

When awarding these prizes, each this 12 months and prior to now, the judges usually centered on initiatives that addressed public well being, different vitality and safety issues, mentioned Albin Gasiewski, director of the Middle for Environmental Expertise on the
University of Colorado Boulder.

That means Google is hoping it could possibly spark innovation within the areas the place the world will want it most going ahead, he added.

“Any firm that places prize cash in the direction of the event of revolutionary concepts, particularly amongst younger individuals, is basically setting itself aside,” he informed TechNewsWorld. “We’d like extra younger individuals stepping into science, expertise and math in highschool, and so they want alternatives like this to make it enjoyable and fascinating. There are a number of international challenges that science and expertise wants to handle, and this can be a method to get one of the best minds beginning younger on fixing these challenges.”
4 Young Innovators Capture Google Science Fair Awards

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