The National Gallery, part of the
Partnership for America's Future, recently presented awards to seven
outstanding inventors for their work. Here, then, are the seven
inventors and their inventions:
Ms. Hyeyeon Choi of Dix Hills, N.Y.,
invented THE EFFECT OF SUPERFICIAL FLUIDS ON POLYMER THIN FILMS.
Joline Marie Fan of Columbus, Ohio,
invented HEAT TRANSFER ENHANCEMENT OF DRAG-REDUCING SURFACTANTS.
Then there's Elena Glassman of
Pipersville, Minn. She invented the BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE FOR THE
Vaishali Grover of Miami, Fla.,
invented an ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY ENZYME-BASED ANTI-FOULING
Other than their high-tech
capabilities, can you figure out what these award-winning inventors
have in common? At first glance it appears that the common
denominator is the fact that they're all women.
But then the list includes Sean
Mehra and Jeff Reitman of Jericho, N.Y., who teamed up to invent a
process of USING NANOPARTICLES TO ENHANCE POLYMER PROPERTIES FOR
IMPROVED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS.
Rounding out these seven
award-winning inventors is Chandler Macocha of Oxford, Mich., who
invented the WHEELCHAIR BACKPACK HELPER. Finally, an invention that
us non-geniuses can figure out (or would that be non-geniui?).
What was Chandler's problem? Was he
inventing with one hand tied behind his back?
Actually, the problem may have been
his age, since Chandler was three or four years younger than the
other inventors. He was only in the eighth grade, while the others
were in the 11th and 12th grades.
For most people, myself included,
the words in capital letters above are just plain hard to
understand. Let's take a look at the inventors' backgrounds, which
are more interesting than the technical descriptions of their
[to top of second column
in this article]
Hyeyeon Choi was born in Korea and
moved to the United States with her family at age 12. She's an
accomplished violinist, pianist and drummer who plans to study
chemical engineering in college and do research after graduation.
Invention seems to run in Joline
Marie Fan's family. Her mom is a chemist and her dad teaches
chemical engineering. Typical underachieving family! Joline was
named after Marie Curie, while her brother, Jonathan Albert Fan, was
named after Albert Einstein. She plans to become a medical
researcher, a surgeon or an engineer.
Elena Glassman first used the family
computer when she was only 18 months old. She was inspired to invent
her brain-computer interface after seeing a paralyzed man use his
hands to pick up objects from a table. Elena plans to follow in her
father's footsteps and become an electrical engineer.
Vaishali Grover was only 2 years old
when she learned to read. Now she envisions her anti-fouling paint
being used to prevent barnacles from building up on ships. She hopes
to become a documentary filmmaker someday.
Best friends Sean Mehra and Jeff
Reitman have both been accepted to Yale, where they plan to study
medicine. Sean can speak Hindi, Punjabi and French, while Jeff was
recently chosen to be the U.S. ambassador for the Third Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation Youth Science Festival.
Chandler Macocha, who once made a
paper model of the Titanic for his grandmother, plans to become
either a flight director for NASA or an engineer at Disney World.
Each of their inventions is either
patented (mildly difficult to do), won a national invention
competition (more difficult to do) or is marketed nationwide (most
difficult to do). Each one of these young Einsteins achieved this
before graduating from high school.
Invention Mysteries is written each week by Paul Niemann. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Copyright Paul Niemann 2004