You may remember hearing about Ann Makosinski from Victoria, Canada who won the 15-16 Age Category prize in the Google Science Fair in 2013. She developed a flashlight powered solely from the heat of the human hand, eliminating the need for batteries. Her design features the use of Pelletier tiles which produce energy when heated on one side and cooled on the other, which gives the flashlight a hollow design to allow for a cooling air current under the surface of the device. Makosinski’s innovative invention provides a potential solution for providing affordable renewable lighting in the developing world, especially in emergency situations.
This year, the first round of finalists won’t be announced until June 26th, but 15 year old applicant Angelo Casimiro from the Philippines is already making a buzz, especially in the renewable energy scene. He invented a pair of shoes that produce enough energy just from walking to charge small battery-operated devices such as a smartphone. With the use of mobile phones expanding rapidly throughout developing countries including areas with poor energy access, a potential market may exist among some of the world’s poorest citizens. Providing these electricity-generating shoes at an affordable price, however, may be Casimiro’s next big challenge.
With such bright minds leading the next generation, it certainly gives hope for the future!
Find out more about the Google Science Fair here.