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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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                              Published on January 16, 2019

                              How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                              How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

                              We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

                              You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

                              You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

                              That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

                              Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

                              1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

                              Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

                              We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

                              To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

                              At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

                              The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

                              2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

                              Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

                              The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

                              In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

                              It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

                              It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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                              So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

                              • Are you a great strategist?
                              • Are you an effective planner?
                              • Is Project Management your strength?
                              • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
                              • Are you the ideas person?
                              • Is Implementation your strength?

                              Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

                              3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

                              One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

                              Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

                              Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

                              Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

                              4. Take Time for Planning

                              “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

                              One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

                              You can take the time to think about:

                              • What’s the purpose of the project?
                              • How Important is it?
                              • When does it need to be delivered by?
                              • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
                              • What are the KPIs?
                              • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
                              • Who is working on this project?
                              • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
                              • What tolerances can I add in?
                              • What are the review stages?
                              • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

                              Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

                              5. Focus on Priorities

                              Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

                              Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

                              One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

                              1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
                              2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
                              3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
                              4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

                              James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                                The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                                If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                                If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                                6. Take Time Out

                                To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                                If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                                Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                                In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                                Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                                Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                                I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                                Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                                If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                                8. Stop Multitasking

                                Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                                So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                                When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                                If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                                9. Work in Blocks of Time

                                To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                                I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                                Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                                Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                                Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                                Then take another 10-minute break.

                                Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                                By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                                10. Get Rid of Distractions

                                Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                                “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                                Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                                If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                                11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                                You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                                Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                                Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                                12. Take a Time Audit

                                Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                                Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                                You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                                Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                                Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                                At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                                If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                                13. Protect Your Confidence

                                It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                                When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                                Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                                When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                                Final Words

                                A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                                The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                                If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                                Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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