Google Science Fair finalists’ inventions!

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

girl flashlight
Ann Makosinski demonstrating her Hollow Flashlight. It’s powered only by the heat from her hand!

Have you ever participated in a science fair for your school? It’s a fun competition that encourages young scholars to think outside the box for cool projects to present. Well, every year, Google has one of the largest science fairs in the world, and it’s open to kids ages 13-18! This year’s winners from the 3 different age categories have some really cool inventions that’ll knock your socks off.

The first and youngest winner is Viney Kumar from the 13-14 age category. His project, called the Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic (PART) Program, takes advantage of GPS in drivers’ cell phones to pull off its unique abilities. If a police car or an ambulance has to rush to the end of town for an emergency, they can send out a signal (besides the whining sirens!) and alert drivers on the road to scoot over and let them through! It sure beats the traditional flashing lights that can barely be seen during the day, or the sirens that can get drowned out by loud radio music.

Speaking of flashing lights, the winner of the 15-16 age category, Ann Makosinski, won for a Hollow Flashlight that runs on the heat coming off your hand. That’s right, it doesn’t need any batteries! You see, its body is lined with Peltier tiles, which can generate heat if one side of the tile is hot and the other is cold. Since the flashlight is hollow, a stream of cold air chills one side of the tiles, while the heat from your hand warms the other, sparking enough energy for a brilliant beam of light. Makosinski foresees the hollow flashlight being used in emergency situations when there is a power outage.

Well, nothing can be more useful in an emergency than medicine, right? I mean, if everyone comes down with the sniffles and their tummies really start hurting, will there be enough doctors around to treat them individually? Thankfully, Eric Chen, the winner of the 17-18 age category, has created a very thorough outline on how to cure every version of the flu. He didn’t create the medicine (not yet, anyways), but did do a ton of computer modeling and biology research to show how it could be made with the right materials!

Now, these aren’t scruffy old professors and inventors making incredible devices and designs. They’re just kids like you! So, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t make an awesome scientific contribution like these kids have. Do it for the love of science!

Images and video courtesy of Google.