5 Coolest Technologies Invented by High Schoolers

International Science and Engineering Fair winners 2013

International Science and Engineering Fair winners 2013via Intel

Last week Intel hosted their International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix. There, 1,600 students from around the world were invited to present their award-winning projects and compete for over $4 million in awards and scholarships. Here are some of the coolest new technologies invented by these stellar high schoolers.

A Way to Charge Your Cell Phone in 20 Seconds

Eesha Khare and her supercapacitorvia Intel

You read that right. Eesha Khare, 18, of Saratoga, California has developed an energy storage device that can be fully charged in 20 to 30 seconds. This tiny device can fit inside cell phones and potentially car batteries and charge them faster than the time it will take you to read this article. The supercapacitor, as the device is officially called, can last through 10,000 charge-recharge cycles compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries, Khare told NBC. Khare won Intel’s runners-up award and received $50,000 in scholarship funds for her work.

A Test to Tell You if You’re Allergic to One Cat Vs Another

Using the DNA in a cats’ saliva, Savannah Tobin, 18, of West Salem, Oregon has created a test that allows people to tell if they are allergic to one cat versus another. Her quick diagnostic test could allow shelters and pet stores to provide allergy ratings to potential pet adopters, potentially encouraging people to adopt who otherwise wouldn’t. Tobin scored a $5,000 award from Intel for her project.

A Self-Driving Car that Costs Less Than than $4,000

Driverless car simulationA 19-year-old high schooler has developed the technology to run a driverless car for a fraction of the cost of existing technologies. Compare Romanian student Ionut Budisteanu’s system with that of existing systems, such as Google’s, and you’ll see why his research is so innovative. The 3D radar that allows Google’s car to detect objects in the car’s path costs about $75,000. The cost of Budisteanu’s detection system? No more than $4,000. With Budisteanu’s technology, driverless cars could become affordable for the masses and help prevent the 50 million injuries that happen each year due to traffic accidents. “And 87 percent of the car accidents are only because of human mistakes,” Budisteanu said. “They don’t see the cars, they don’t see the traffic signs … the self-driving car will see everything.” Budisteanu took home Intel’s top prize of $75,000 for his invention.

Simulations that Help Scientists Better Understand the Universe

Henry Wanjune Lin, 17, of Shreveport, Louisiana, simulated thousands of clusters of galaxies. The result: he’s provided astrophysicists with valuable new data that allows them to better understand the mysteries of the universe like dark matter, dark energy, and the balance of heating and cooling in the universe’s most massive objects. For his work, Lin took home Intel’s runners’ up award and a $50,000 scholarship.

A Computer Algorithm that Can Diagnose Leukemia

Brittany Wenger with interface of her inventionAn 18-year-old from Sarasota, Florida, has developed a cloud-based “artificial neural network” to help doctors diagnose and potentially treat patients suffering from mixed-lineage leukemia, or MLL. MLL is an agressive form of cancer that generally has a five-year survival rate of only 40%. Using her computer algorithm, Brittany Wenger discovered four gene expressions in the body that can be targeted with drugs to treat MLL. This was not Wenger’s first time developing an artificial-intelligence technology to diagnose cancer. Previously Wenger used the same infrastructure she uses now to diagnose MLL to diagnose breast cancer. “I wanted to prove that the infrastructure I built could work with multiple diseases,” she said. Wenger received a $3,000 award in Intel’s computer-science category along with numerous other awards including a $20,000 award from Intel in March for her work in breast-cancer diagnosis. Check out Wenger speaking at TEDx.

How impressed are you with the projects of these high school geniuses?

Photos via Intel

Lauren Mobertz

By Lauren Mobertz

Lauren is the former managing editor for DashBurst. One part geek, one part urban nomad, she is constantly scouting for the latest tech and world news. In the evenings you'll find Lauren running in strange places or attempting to dance salsa.

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