Seth Fisher and his solar concentrator. Photos via Intel
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest international pre-college science competition, is underway this week, and a few of the 1,500 kids participating have come up with some great environmentally savvy science projects. From oil spill-cleaning robots to lighting powered by cow dung, the future of cleantech can be seen in the kids standing at their booths in the show. This week, more than 1,500 of the world's smartest high school students are in Reno, NV to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Here are a handful of some of the projects addressing environmental issues as access to clean water and sustainable solutions for alternative energy:
Â· Liquid solar panels for powering electronics: Nathan Monroe from Jacksonville, FL concentrated his research on building a cheaper, more efficient solar panel to power small electronic items and eventually buildings and cities. His solar panel is in liquid form so it can be sprayed on surfaces. For example, Nathan created a polymer chemical that he sprayed on the bill of his hat to capture solar power to charge his iPod.
Â· Robot cleans up oil spills: Anna Simpson from San Diego, CA, an "avid robotist" since the age of 5, designed a robot that can search for hazardous materials, detect, and respond to commands that she programmed herself. Her project could aide with oil spill cleanups and help identify toxic environments.
Â· Solar cell made from algae: Cesar Soria Jimenez, from Grants, NM, developed a new type of solar cell that harvests energy from algae. As the algae goes through photosynthesis, the electrons are taken out of it and used to make electricity.
Â· Water purification: Kimberly Hulm from Strasburg, ND, has developed an alternative method for water purification in developing worlds and local communities. Her research concluded that a Centrifuge can adequately decrease the amount of bacteria and such trace elements as Chlorine, Arsenic, Copper and Mercury in a sample of water.
Â· Reduce CO2 with recycled Lithium batteries: Narayan Torres from Guadalajara, Mexico developed a recycled Lithium converter, which is used to reduce the emissions of internal combustion machines.
Â· Light up villages with cow dung: Vishnu Jayaprakash of Chennai, India developed a novel microbial fuel cell based on inexpensive graphite electrodes. In other words, he attempts to generate electricity for local villages from cow dung!
It's inspiring to see such clever, innovative and hard working young people get excited about the possibilities of clean technology. We need all the brain power we can get! Next we'll see them in the Clean Tech Open, creating a brilliant start-up, and then on to ruling the world.