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These Incredible Teens From the 2014 Google Science Fair Will Change the World

These Incredible Teens From the 2014 Google Science Fair Will Change the World

The Google Science Fair is an annual competition open to teens around the world. The competition seeks to encourage young innovators, as well look for new solutions for current problems. Bringing together students of all different backgrounds, the projects found here are truly some of the best in the world. Not only are these students inspiring, they uncover some of the most forward-thinking approaches to world issues. The following 15 competitors showcase the best of what young scientists are bringing to the table.

Accident Detection and Location System

Rohan Chacko, 14, Soham Basu, 14, United Arab Emirates

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    The accident detection and location system is a small prototype that transmits information to emergency response units. By instantly communicating where an accident takes place, the response times for emergency vehicles are significantly reduced. This Google Science Fair device, and devices like it, stands to greatly improve emergency care around the world.

    Electricity Harvesting Footwear

    Angelo Casimiro, 16, The Philippines

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      This forward-thinking teen from the Philippines takes a new approach to capturing electricity at the Google Science Fair. The innovative device explores power-producing insoles for shoes. Devices like this one could potentially be implemented to reduce strain on city power grids, or even provide electricity in remote areas.

      A Modular House to Initiate Efficient Usage of Resources

      Dev Shaurya Singhal, 14, India

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        Another admirable teen from India created this incredible house design that is hugely energy efficient. This house makes use of MFC (Microbial Fuel Cell) and MEC (Microbial Electrolysis Cell) chips to produce electricity and treat wastewater. Not only does this give homeowners free resources, it could bring a powerful, practical way to reduce environmental impact to everyday people.

        Technology for Processing Foliage Plastic Bottles and Wastepaper Into Paper

        Aleksandr Orchenko, 14, Christina Ruzina, 14, Alexander Zakharov, 14, Russia

        These three Russian youngsters found a way to produce medium-grade paper from recycled wastepaper, leaves, and plastic bottles. As the world struggles to slow deforestation, as well as absorb sky high numbers of discarded plastic bottles, this technology could offer serious solutions for a more sustainable future.

        The Therenim: A Touchless Respiratory Monitor

        Eswar Anandapadmanaban, 16, United States

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          This talented 16-year-old Google Science Fair competitor sought to solve the problem of invasive respiratory monitors. This new device monitors breathing without wires or electrodes. A device with the potential to simplify an obtrusive, yet necessary healthcare test, this project could change the healthcare industry for the better.

          Utilization of Solar Energy by Making Solar Water Sprinkler

          Sadineni Shashank, 14, India

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            This ingenious small sprinkler relies on solar energy to run. By creating a fully automated sprinkler that needs no outside power, this device will undoubtedly cut down on wasted energy, plus could improve agriculture in remote areas. Not only that, the sprinklers can run on battery power when it’s not sunny and automatically detect when your crops have enough water.

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            Intelligent Power Switching Device With an Energy Saving Protocol

            Weitung Chen, 15, Taiwan

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              This innovative design improves the energy-saving protocol of consumer devices. By adding real-time polling technology, this Fair entry can save standby power and is fully automatic. Devices like this one could potentially greatly expand the battery life in our handheld technology, as well as devices in use in health and rescue industries.

              Identification of Gravitationally Lensed Quasars

              Pranav Sivakumar, 14, United States

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                This talented 14-year-old developed a new method to identify gravitationally lensed quasars. Quasars are deep space energetic objects that are crucial to our understanding of the universe. The lens distortion improves our ability to interpret the universe around us, and may lead to further discoveries in the study of the night sky. By using a unique algorithm, images of quasars can be compared to their neighbors to determine if we are cataloguing one star as two.

                Breaking the Age Barrier

                Mythri Ambatipudi, 13, United States

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                  This brilliant 13-year-old discovered possible treatments for the chemical reactions that cause major life-threatening diseases. These diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy and retinopathy, which are caused by advanced glycation end-products, or AGE reactions. By sourcing natural solutions that inhibit AGE formation, this teen may be on the path to revolutionizing medical science.

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                  A Simple Method for Simultaneous Wastewater Treatment and Chemical Recovery Using Temperature and Pressure Changes

                  Andrew Ma, 17, United States

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                    This Google Science Fair project from 17-year-old Andrew Ma seeks to make waste water treatment more affordable. This unique approach treats waste water but also recovers chemicals from the water. This new apparatus allows water purification inside your home, but also is a viable alternative to the energy-intensive synthesis of some chemicals.

                    Winners

                    Natural Bacteria Combating World Hunger

                    Ciara Judge, 16, Émer Hickey, 16, Sophie Healy-Thow, 16, Ireland

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                      These three impressive youngsters from Ireland found that using a strain of bacteria helped certain crops to grow. The three girls studied the bacterium’s effect on wheat, oats, and barley, and found that treated crops germinated up to 50% faster. In barley, they increased the crop yield by 74%. Such a simple way to catapult the amount of food we can capture from each plant may eventually help fight hunger around the world. Additionally, this project identifies future ways we could reduce the use of harmful fertilizers.

                      Cleaning Up Oil Sands Waste

                      Hayley Todesco, 17, Canada

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                        This impressive 17-year-old from Canada found a renewable and reliable way to reduce harmful waste in the Canadian oil sands. One of the larger sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, the Canadian oil sands constantly pollute the surrounding areas. By using newly designed sand filters, this science fair winner was 14 times more efficient in reducing acid concentrations and biofilm production than current cleanup methods. This could be hugely effective in keeping the environment clean at oil refinery sites around the world.

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                        Fruit Fly Inspired Flying Robots

                        Mihir Garimella, 14, United States

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                          Around the world, flying robots are currently used in a multitude of settings. Most of which require flying robots to respond to real-time threats. While current flying robots are bulky and somewhat ineffective, this outstanding 14-year-old from the United States designed a lightweight sensor module based on fruit flies’ visual system. He then created algorithms to mimic a fruit fly’s flying trajectory, enabling these robots to evade threats better than ever before.

                          Wearable Sensors for Aging Society

                          Kenneth Shinozuka, 15, United States

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                            Another Google Science Fair winner invented a small, low-cost sensor to monitor aging patients in care homes and hospitals. The device causes an alert on a caregiver’s smart phone by sensing a patient’s shifting bodyweight. This coin-sized sensor relies on Bluetooth Low Energy and a companion app to make caregivers less stressed and more effective.

                            Converting Breath to Speech for the Disabled

                            Arsh Dilbagi, 16, India

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                              The final winner of the Google Science Fair is Arsh Dilbagi for developing an augmentation and alternative communication device that translates breathing patterns into speech. The device has two modes, allowing patients to either spell or select phrases. Current devices letting people with developmental disabilities speak cost upwards of $1000, but this device can be produced for under US$100. Not only that, this device increases a patient’s speech rate by at least 300%.

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                              Alicia Prince

                              A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                              Last Updated on July 13, 2020

                              How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                              How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                              Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

                              If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

                              1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

                              The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

                              Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

                              For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

                              The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

                              2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

                              Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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                              As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

                              Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

                              3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

                              Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

                                This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

                                We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

                                Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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                                When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

                                Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

                                4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

                                Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

                                For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

                                Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

                                5. Make Decisions

                                For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

                                If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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                                If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

                                Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

                                I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

                                This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

                                The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

                                6. Take Some Form of Action

                                Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

                                The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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                                It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

                                Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

                                When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

                                More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

                                Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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