7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

by , 07.16.13 // Inhabitat


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When many of us were in our teens, work for science fairs comprised cut and paste displays on colorful presentation boards, and our hobbies weren’t exactly about to change the world. But across the globe, teenagers with creative, scientific minds are already devising extraordinary devices, revolutionary materials and renewable technologies that might just change our planet for the greener. Click through to see some of their most incredible inventions – from bioplastics made from bananas to pee-powered energy generators and an ocean cleanup array to rid the world’s oceans of waste.

Boyan Slat, TU Delft, Ocean Cleanup Array, Ocean Plastic, Garbage Patch

An Ocean Clean Up Array to Remove 7,250,000 Tons of Plastic From the World’s Oceans

When we first covered Boyan Slat’s Ocean Cleanup Array it generated a phenomenal amount of excitement, as well as debate. The 19-year-old Dutch aerospace engineering student devised the array to be dispatched to the world’s garbage patches, with an initial estimate the the oceans could be cleaned up in around 5 years. With an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel, separating plastic from plankton, and storing the refuse for recycling. Slat has since raised $80,000 to conduct a feasibility study into the Ocean Cleanup Array, and its potential for clearing the world’s oceans of trash.

plastic waste, plastic recycling, Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, biofuels, plastic biofuel

A Way to Turn Plastic Waste into $78 Million of Biofuel

16-year-old Egyptian student Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, meanwhile, was at work finding a way to make use of waste plastic. The budding scientist discovered a catalyst that could turn Egypt’s one million tons of annually discarded plastic into a phenomenal $78 million worth of biofuel each year. She hopes that the development could “provide an economically efficient method for production of hydrocarbon fuel,” and many appear to agree; Faiad has been awarded the European Fusion Development Agreement award at the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists, and is seeking patents for her discovery.

Maker Faire Africa, Maker Faire, Pee Power, Pee-Powered Generator

A Pee-Powered Energy Generator Created by Four Nigerian Teenagers

Four Nigerian teenage girls wowed visitors to the Maker Faire Africa with their pee-powered energy generator. Able to source an impressive six hours of power from just one liter of urine, the 14- and 15-year-olds renewable energy generator holds interesting possibilities for providing electricity in remote areas or in disaster zones.

Aisha Mustafa, space travel, space propulsion, quantum physics, fuel free flight

A Quantum Space Propulsion System

It sounds more like something from a science fiction movie than a potentially viable invention from a teenage mind (hence the Prometheus image), but 19-year-old Egyptian physicist Aisha Mustafa’s Quantum Space Propulsion System could send spacecraft into the beyond without using a single drop of fuel. Mustafa believes that the quantum effect can be harnessed in space via the dynamicCasimir effect and from that, energy can be created to produce a net force that could push, pull or propel a spacecraft. Sohag University has already aided Mustafa with her patent application, and she has said she intends to keep developing the system before it is tested in outer space.

aidan dwyer, solar trees, fibonacci, solar arrays, solar efficiency, biomimicry

A Solar Breakthrough Using Fibonacci Sequence

13-year-old Aidan Dwyer is by far the youngest of the brilliant teenage minds in our list. The 7th grader observed the patterns of tree branches while he was on a hike and considered that such patterns could be utilized to improve the efficiency of solar trees. By utilizing the Fibonacci sequence, he was able to generate a formula that produced a solar tree design that appeared to yield 20-50% more power than an equivalent flat solar array. While Dwyer’s calculations weren’t absolutely correct, the biomimicry experiment earned the 13-year-old a provisional patent.

Elif Bilgin, bananas bioplastic, bioplastic, petrochemical alternatives

Turning Banana Peels into Bioplastic

16-year-old Turkish student Elif Bilgin developed her very own technique for turning the unassuming banana peel into bioplastics, a discovery which she hopes could reduce dependence on petrochemicals, and make use of some of the 200 tons of banana peel discarded daily in Thailand alone. Her development relies on the properties of the starches and cellulose found in the outer layer of banana peels, which, through a chemical process developed by Bilgin herself, can be transformed into a non-decaying bioplastic.

Eesha Khare, supercapactior, fast cellphone charging, 20 second phone charge, batteries

A Device That Can Charge Your Cellphone in 20 Seconds

18-year-old Californian Eesha Khare captured everyone’s attention with the creation of a device that could charge cellphones in just 20 seconds and do away with the smartphone battery-related anxiety once and for all. Khare developed a supercapacitor storage device that can store a lot of energy and fit within a cell phone battery. Not only can the device charge the phone at lightning-fast speed, it can also last for a whopping 100,000 charge cycles.


Age does not matter. What DOES matter is what you do with what chya got.

May these kids help inspire you to see what you’ve got inside of yourself to share with the world.

Here’s to making it happen! :)

with passion & gratitude — jennifer


One thought on “7 Incredible Inventions by Teenage Wunderkinds

  1. Technology Submission – Novel Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech – Featured Development

    Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic
    Technology Proposal Submission
    Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    *State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent.
    Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD. -New Form-Function Motor-Engine Device. Next Step, Epic Design Change, Broken-Seal Revelation. -Desirable Power-Plant Innovation.

    YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses

    -This innovative concept consists of hull and core where are held all 8 bteps of the work-flow which make the concept functional. The core has several gears and turbines which are responsible for these 8 steps (5 of them are dedicated to the turbo stages). The first step is fuel compression, followed by 2 cold turbo levels. The fourth step is where the fuel starts burning – combustion stage, which creates thrust for the next, 5th step – thrust step, which provides power to the planetary gears and turbines and moves the system. This step is followed by two hot turbo steps and the circle is enclosed by the final 8th step – bigger turbine. All this motion in a retrodynamic circumstance effect, wich is plus higher RPM speed by self motion. The Reaction at front of the action.

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE – Way Steps:
    1)1-Compression / bigger
    2)2-Turbo 1 cold
    3)2-Turbo 2 cold
    4)2-Combustion – circular motion flames / opposites
    5)2-Thrust – single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang
    6)2-Turbo 2 hot
    7)2-Turbo 1 hot
    8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS InFlow / front to front; “Collision-Interaction Type” – inflow vs blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode. [Retrodynamic Reaction = When the inflow have more velocity the rotor have more RPM Acceleration, with high (XY Position) Momentum] Which the internal flow (and rotor) duplicate its speed, when activated being in a rotor (and inflow) with [inverse] opposite Turns. A very strong Novel concept of torque power thrust.

    -Non waste parasitic looses for; friction, cooling, lubrication & combustion. -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat] Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia kinetic positive tendency motion. Like a Flywheel.

    -Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite to the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS. -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang Symbol/Concept. -Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way, 2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved. Carlos Barrera.


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