Anushka Naiknaware, a 13-year-old inventor from Portland, Oregon, has become the youngest person to win the Google Science Fair Award. The Google Science Fair is a global competition in which teens around the world participate by developing solutions for some of the world’s greatest problems.
Known as “a student who uses an innovative, hands-on approach to solve some of the greatest engineering challenges”, Anushka has invented the world’s first smart bandage. While studying anatomy for a science competition, she came across chronic wounds - wounds from which millions suffer from. These wounds often last years and affect more people than lung cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and colon cancer combined. Chronic wounds were a big deal, yet little research has been done on them.
Instead of letting this information slip from her mind, Anushka decided to take action. She realized that it was necessary to keep these large wounds moist to promote healing and that changing bandages too frequently increased the chance of making the wounds worse. Anushka came up with the idea to create a bandage that would not only be able to kill the bacteria in the wound but also to alert the user when it needs to be changed.
In order to accomplish her goal, she designed and tested a method of embedding nanoparticles of graphene, via ink printed into fractal patterns, within the bandages.
After 2 years and numerous trials, Anushka Naiknaware was finally able to accurately detect when the moisture levels dropped. She made a bandage that was both biocompatible and cost-efficient. Now as a winner of the Google Science Fair, she plans on using the mentorship aspect of her prize to work towards the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration approval for her bandages. Upon receiving approval, she will work to mass-produce the bandages and finally achieve her goal of aiding the millions in need of her product.
Anushka’s persistence and dedication is an inspiration to many young girls in STEM fields. Anushka is one of many examples of girls around the world who have shown great dedication to achieving a dream they set their minds to. Instead of being a bystander to a global issue, she put in the effort to solve it. Like most 13-year-olds, Anushka did not have access to the most expensive and effective resources, yet she still made the best of what she had. She has set the example that it is not necessary to have the most up to date technology, or a high position in order to make a change. Anyone can make a difference to a problem they set their minds to.
-Layanga, vice captain of Prototype G - 11306
Now on our fourth year, we are proud to say that Prototype G, a reputable all-girls FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team from Princeton, NJ, is once again made up of 9 girls all of whom are united by our love for robotics.
FIRST is a global robotics program that is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and connecting students by engaging them in an interactive robotics program which incorporates computer science, engineering, and technology skills that inspire innovation. This program nurtures the skills needed in everyday life such as public speaking; it stresses the importance of teamwork, building connections, hands-on problem solving and much more.
Our team was created and is funded by SES who hosts our weekday meeting venue and YWCA Princeton (who strives to eliminate racism and empower women in all fields of study).
Image courtesy of imgur.com: https://imgur.com/gallery/2li2l