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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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                              Last Updated on March 15, 2019

                              How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                              How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                              When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

                              Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

                              In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

                              What Makes a Leader Fail?

                              A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

                              If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

                              And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

                              What Is Effective Leadership?

                              Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

                              Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

                              Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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                              “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

                              How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

                              To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

                              1. Courage

                              The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

                              “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

                              Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

                              For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

                              In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

                              It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

                              Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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                              2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

                              If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

                              The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

                              To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

                              3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

                              Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

                              Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

                              4. Likability

                              Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

                              When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

                              Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

                              So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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                              5. Vulnerability

                              Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

                              When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

                              6. Authenticity

                              Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

                              Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

                              7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

                              Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

                              Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

                              Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

                              Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

                              As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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                              “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

                              8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

                              Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

                              This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

                              9. A Passion for Continual Learning

                              Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

                              These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

                              Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

                              The Bottom Line

                              No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

                              Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

                              More Resources About Effective Leadership

                              Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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