Ann Makosinski is shining a light on human energy. The 15-year-old Victoria, B.C. native recently became a finalist in the 2013 Google Science Fair for creating a battery-free flashlight. Makosinski became interested in harvesting surplus energy when she realized that “humans are a great source of untapped thermal energy” and this energy could be used to power a flashlight simply by holding it. Energy.
As Ann discusses in her video submission, she decided to use cheap tiles to test her hypothesis. By heating one side of the tile and cooling the other, electricity is produced.
“In my case,” Ann explains, “I’d be heating one side of the tile with the palm of my hand, and cooling the other with just the ambient air.”
She then goes on to talk about units of measurement that are as foreign to me as the Royal Canadian Mountain Police, so I won’t even begin to try to translate. However, you can watch her full demonstration here if you’re interested in learning how Ann created a flashlight that runs solely on the heat of a human hand.
In September, Makosinski and the 14 other finalists will be competing in Mountain View, California for the grand prize: a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions, a $50,000 scholarship, among other prizes.
Featured image via HuffingtonPost