We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children
It’s no surprise that kids today are far more interested in living a “green” lifestyle than when I was a kid. I didn’t start recycling paper or plastic until the late 1990s and we didn’t even consider energy-efficient ways to live a greener life. That all changed when I became an adult and tried to reuse, reduce, recycle, and repurpose as much as possible. It helped that tsociety encouraged me to monitor my carbon footprint, but I certainly wasn’t as conscious as I could have been. Today, we celebrate three kids who are making the world green with their own inventions.
1. Eesha Khare of Saratoga, California invented a device that could help charge cell phone batteries when she did research for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year. She invented a supercapacitor that will charge a cell phone in about 20 seconds! Her research won her a $50,000 prize as the Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Her experiment title is quite a mouthful: “Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors” but we just think she is doing something helpful to the world around her. You can see this well-poised kid who is making the world greener in an interview with Conan O’Brien.
2. 19 year old Taylor Wilson is a nuclear scientist. You read that right: he is a nuclear scientist. Taylor designed a fission reactor that will work for 30 years so that developing countries could use it. Wilson’s invention heats up gas that increases a molten salt reactor by 50%. Since the reactor operates at a much higher temperature (700 degrees Celsius), it increases the efficiency for developing nations is a brilliant addition since it will generate up to 100 megawatts of electricity. Taylor’s invention needs to be refueled every 30 years making this design a leader in the new carbon-free energy generation.
Be sure to check out his website, Taylor’s Nuke Site.
Photo credit to Deanne Fitzmaurice of National Geographic
3. Azza Abdel Hamid isn’t your typical teenager unless you’re comparing her to the other kids on this list making the world a greener place. Plastic waste is a problem all over the world and Azza created a catalyst that could break down the plastic waste while also producing gaseous products (the good kind!) that can then be made into ethanol, her invention could be an inexpensive way to help the economy to make money from the recycled plastic. The plastic consumption of a country Egypt’s size is roughly one million tons each year so Azza’s catalyst could actually help make the world greener while also bolstering the economy in Egypt by creating $78 million for her country.
I have to repeat that: Azza’s invention could help create $78 million worth of biofuel.
This “green teen” won an award for her findings at the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists and she hopes to get her idea patented through the Egyptian Patent Office. Azza’s catalyst takes non-biodegradable plastic and turns it into a clean-burning biofuel.
These are just three of the amazing youthful inventors that are helping to change the face of green living. With examples like these, we can surely expect to hear more great news from kids who are making the world green.