Ann Makosinski (15) of Victoria, BC has been selected as one of 15 finalists in the third annual Google Science Fair. Her project, The Hollow Flashlight, involved the design and construction of a highly original device that converts body heat into light resulting in a steady flashlight beam without the use of batteries or other energy sources. "I got the inspiration for my project when I found out humans are actually like 100 watt walking light bulbs. We have so much thermal energy in us, so why aren't we using it?", she noted.
Last month, at the 2013 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Lethbridge, Alberta, the grade ten student won the Energy Challenge Award (Intermediate) and a gold medal. In addition to experimenting with electronics, Makosinski enjoys acting, field hockey, and editing and directing movies and plays. She began entering science fairs in grade six.
As one of the 15 global finalists, Ann will be flown to Google HQ in Mountain View, California for the celebratory event and finalist judging round, which will take place in September. The finalists will present their projects to a panel of acclaimed scientists, innovators, explorers, and entrepreneurs from around the world. A winner will be selected from each of the age categories, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18. One will be named the Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize includes a $50,000 scholarship as well as an all-expenses paid trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Makosinski's selection means Canada is three-for-three with finalists in the Google Science Fair. Last year, Yassine Bouanane of Laval, Québec was selected, and Christopher Nielsen of Calgary, Alberta was a finalist at the inaugural event in 2011. This year's finalists were selected from thousands of online entries from over 100 countries. The other 14 projects selected as finalists are from Australia (1), Greece (1), India (1), Russia (1), Singapore (1), Turkey (1), and USA (8)
Congratulations, and best of luck in the finals, Ann!
Update: Click the link to vote for Ann's project in the "Voter's Choice Award" on the Google Science Fair web site. Voting closes on August 30.