Here are three brainy teens who used what they learned to make the world a better place.
In 2011 then senior of Monte Vista High School in Cupertino California, Angela Zhang won the Siemens Math, Science and Technology competition as well as a $100,000 scholarship! Growing up with a very healthy thirst for knowledge is what steered this teen-aged bookworm head first into cancer research. With study direction offered from a local university professor she set about the task of localizing cancer treatment.
Zhang’s research uses a nanoparticle that piggybacks a cancer medicine coated in a polymer. These nanoparticles attach to the cancer cells and will show up on an MRI. Then, when the polymer casing gets hit with a laser during treatment it melts releasing the cancer medicine directly onto the cancer cells saving the surrounding healthy cells. It’s not hard to see why she won the 100K!
(Source: Dragon’s Den, screenshot)
Ninth grader at St George’s School in Vancouver BC Canada, Aanikh Kler appeared on the Dragon’s Den television show in season 8 to pitch his UndrTheRadr idea. He invented a sneaky app just for kids and teens who want to stay connected during class without their teachers catching on.
After a certain age people lose their ability to hear frequencies at the extreme ends of their hearing range so Kler decided to create a ringtone that adults can’t hear. Before shaking hands on a deal for $25,000 plus 20% of the app’s download revenue Arlene Dickenson marveled at the 15 year old’s accomplishment stating, “…I think you’re one of the most impressive people to have ever come in the den.” UndrTheRadr sells for 99 cents online and 20 cents of that goes directly to the Free The Children charity.
If you would like to watch it here’s Aanikh’s pitch on Dragon’s Den. If you would like to check how old your hearing is then click here.
(Source: TedTalk, screenshot)
Using some water, carbon nanotubes, specially selected protein biomarker antibodies and a strip of paper Jack Andraka developed a simple, inexpensive early detection test strip for pancreatic cancer.
To read the full story click here or use the following link to watch his funny and inspiring TedTalk.