Posted: May 10, 2007

Nanotechnology features big among National Science Teacher Award winners

(Nanowerk News) The Toshiba/National Science Teachers Association ExploraVision Awards Program, one of the world’s largest K –12 science and technology competitions, today announced its first- and second-place national winners for 2007. This year’s winning student teams imagined amazing advancements in fields such as nanotechnology and polymer creation. They conceptualized future technologies ranging from innovative treatments for diabetes and kidney disease to a possible solution to the worldwide scarcity of drinkable water, a novel treatment for drug addiction, a potentially lifesaving fire extinguishing system, and an ingenious method for harnessing “wasted” energy from automobile use. There was even an idea for a special dental hygiene device that would brush all your teeth at once – and provide a song while doing it! Here are the winners:
2007 First Place Winners
Grades K-3: Adobe Bluffs Elementary, San Diego, CA
Polymer Activated Life Saver System
Saves lives while reducing property damage associated with conventional fire extinguishing systems. Compact polymer crystals trap water and expand to form a blanket that smothers fire and prevents water damage to building interiors and furnishings while providing for easier cleanup following a fire.
Grades 4-6: Discovery School, Edinburg, TX
Diabetes Assistance and Prevention e-System (D.A.P.e.S.)
Implants a nanosensor in a tooth to analyze harmful food intake for adolescent diabetics. The nanosensor continuously monitors and provides information such as sugar levels to a portable electronic system via wireless communication and warns or rewards children according to their consumption patterns.
Grades 7-9: Merion Mercy Academy, Merion Station, PA
Passenger Tire Waste Heat Recovery System
Employs nanotechnologies to recycle heat energy lost from automobile tire deformation while an automobile is in motion. The heat from the tires generates radiation from a nano quantum dot; nano photovoltaic cells convert the radiation to electricity; and a super nano lattice diverts the electricity to the car battery to provide power for the vehicle, reduce the need for gasoline, and decrease atmospheric green house gases.
Grades 10-12: Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, SC
SCNCM (Self Constructing Nano-Collector Molecules)
Employs nanotechnology in the design of a dialysis system that uses recycling self-assembling molecules to locate and clean impurities in the blood and deposit the foreign bodies into an artificial kidney before being eliminated into the urinary system. The resulting system will be more efficient and less intrusive than conventional dialysis techniques.
2007 Second Place Winners
Grades K-3: Marsh Elementary School, Rockford, IL
The Sonic Brush Guard
A custom-fit, motorized, mouth guard-shaped toothbrush that will brush all of the user's teeth at once to provide advanced dental hygiene. The battery-operated Sonic Brush Guard also plays a song to signal when brushing is complete.
Grades 4-6: VAAD Academy, Vancouver, BC
The F.D.A. (Freedom from Drug Addiction) Vaccine
Attaches protein molecules to drug molecules and alerts the body's immune system of the presence of foreign molecules and immunizes it against the drug's addictive properties. The system helps the immune system to identify drug molecules that were previously undetectable due to their minute size.
Grades 7-9: John Burroughs School, St. Louis, MO
BisungiPani (Bangla), PureWater (English)
An efficient, low-cost individual water purifying tube that uses virus-fighting polymers and molecular imprinting technologies to kill pathogens and filter toxic metals such as arsenic in water to provide safe drinking water in areas where millions of people suffer from waterborne diseases and metal contamination. The PureWater drinking tube has an environmentally-conscious design that can be recycled for use as a structural base in the construction of homes.
Grades 10-12: Edison Academy, Westerville, OH
Nano Mist
Applies anti-cancer technologies in a drug that continuously monitors and regulates glucose levels to improve the quality of life for diabetics. Dispensed from an inhalant once per month and time- released, receptors on nano-sized liposomes containing insulin particles bind with excess glucose in the blood and trigger the release of insulin from the liposome.
Source: National Science Teachers Association
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