Island teen’s flashlight a bright idea, powering her into final at global science fair

St. Michaels University School student Ann Makosinski has been named one of 15 finalists in Google’s global science fair for a project that created a flashlight that runs on the heat of a human hand.

The 15-year-old Grade 10 student created a flashlight that she calls the Hollow Flashlight, which has no moving parts or batteries.

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In her written conclusion for the project, Makosinski said she “made two flashlights that do not use any batteries, toxic chemicals, or kinetic energy. They do not create any noise or vibrations and will always work. The flashlight’s only limitation is its need for at least a 5°C temperature difference to provide usable light.”

According to Google, the 15 finalists — five from three age categories 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18 — will come to the Google campus at Mountain View, Calif., for an awards presentation on Sept. 23.

The winner will receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions and a $50,000 scholarship.

In a short biography included with materials for the project, Makosinski said she has a great love of science and is no stranger to big competition.

“Last year, I went to the Canada Wide Science Fair with my project ‘The Piezoelectric Flashlight’ and won a bronze medal,” she said, adding she would be attending the same competition this year.

Makosinski said while she has been inspired by Nikola Tesla and Marie Curie, she has not yet decided what she wants to study in the future.

Winning would be a “great inspiration for me and I believe I would feel much more motivated in my studies and career choices, knowing that someone believes in what I'm doing,” she said.

Google chose the 15 finalists from a list of 90 regional finalists from all over the world.


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