Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision

The image of a 16-year old hunched over their phones, scrolling through social media is too commonly used to describe teenagers nowadays. But with the world full of problems piling up day after day, we see some young people with heroism and intelligence, and with the passion to make a change in the world. Meet these teenagers who use science and technology as a tool for revolution, and whose work inspires us all to do more for the earth and its people.

BEACON by Hannah Herbst

Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision | teenage inventions

At the mere age of 15, Hannah Herbst from Florida developed BEACON, which stands for ‘Bringing Electricity Access to Countries through Oceanic Energy. The story behind her invention is quite movie-like, actually. She realized from her conversations with her 9 year-old pen pal living in Ethiopia that electricity is out of reach for many countries in the world, causing people to struggle for the most basic of tasks. So she thought to make use of something that most of us are surrounded with- water. Her device consists of a plastic tube, with a propeller at one end from where ocean water will pass, and a hydroelectric generator at the other end, which will convert the movements of the propeller into usable electricity. Hannah suggests that the energy generated could be used to power water purification technologies, or blood centrifuges at hospitals in the developing world. A noble mindset, indeed.

Early Cancer Detection by Jack Andraka

Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision | teenage inventions

Cancer has claimed one too many lives, the main reason being a late diagnosis, which decreases the survival rate drastically. But a certain 15 year old chose not to sit quietly, but to battle this disease with all he had, after losing a family friend to it. Jack Andraka devised a technology that could effectively detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer in its early stages, giving the victims and the doctors a chance to make treatment work and to save a life. Additionally, his invention was cheap, non-invasive, and claimed a very high success rate, sending shockwaves through the cancer research world. He now holds an international patent, which is well-deserved, of course.

H2Pro by Cynthia Sin Nga Lam

Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision | Teenage inventions

This 17-year old innovator from Australia really decided to multitask with her invention. She created a portable device which could purify water and produce clean energy at the same time. The H2Pro designed by her uses titania and sunlight as the input, which, through the process of photocatalysis, sterilizes water and produces a side bonus of hydrogen, which can be used to produce electricity. No additional power source is required, nor is any harmful waste produced, making her technology perfect for remote regions that struggle with the scarcity of clean water and enough electricity. Cynthia’s device was one of 15 inventions that made the Google Science Fair‘s finalist for 2014, but in terms of sustainability and humanitarianism, her invention is already a winner for us.

Ocean Cleanup Array by Boyan Slat

Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision | teenage inventions

Being on the older end of the spectrum in our list, 19-year old Boyan Slat has managed to do something truly bigger than life. The oceans of this world are dying, and the leading cause for their plight is the tonnes of plastic we dump into them. Slat came up with a giant floating device to trap such plastic emissions before they reach high seas. It can be dispatched to garbage patches all over the world, where it would span the entire radius, storing and filtering plastic for recycling. It is revolutionary for the reason that it effectively sweeps up the garbage while still letting fish and plankton pass through unharmed. Taking this technology as the basis for his work, he believes that the Ocean Cleanup Array could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. He deserves a huge round of applause, for his efforts could not only clean the oceans, but also save aquatic life and prevent the loss of millions due to half-hearted cleanup trials and lost tourism.

Self-Sanitising Door Handle by Sun Ming Wong and King Pong Li

Techy-Teens: 5 Innovations By Youngsters With A Vision | teenage inventions

Necessity is the mother of invention, and this technology is truly the brainchild of these desperate times. Two teenagers, Sun Ming Wong (17) and King Pong Li (18) from Hong Kong decided that they were going to stop the spread of coronavirus by any means. We all know that germs and bacteria spread by transfer from objects like handles on doors, cars, shopping carts etc. But what if the germs died on the handle itself, before the next person could touch it? This thought led to the use of titanium oxide in the handles these teens created. This compound is more effective in the presence of UV light, so the inventors added an LED light to activate the material. Every time the door would be used, the light would be powered up by the kinetic energy of that motion, guaranteeing successful sanitising 99.8 percent of the time. The best part being, this entire invention comes in a $13 package, making it affordable to replicate for the masses. Genius and thoughtful, as it should be!

Which of these teenage inventions inspired you to be a better version of yourself? Tell us below!

If you liked reading this, you will love: Cyborgs : Are We Ready For The Next Stage Of The Human-Technology Relationship?

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