BALITA: 17 year-old Filipina-Canadian Inventor Ann Makosinski “Flashlight Girl” Shines Bright

Photo credit: betakit.com, Google Science Fair 2013

Photo credit: betakit.com, Google Science Fair 2013

Ann Makosinski is a Victoria-based Filipina Canadian student inventor who made headlines two years ago for her invention of a body-heat powered flashlight when she was just 15. Last year, she developed a hands-free headlamp version of her initial concept and went on to win the Google Science Fair in 2013 for both versions. Her latest invention, the e-Drink, harnesses energy from the heat of hot drinks to power electronic devices.

Ann’s flashlight concept was largely inspired by a family friend in Mindanao, Philippines, whose family could not afford electricity, causing her school grades to plummet.

Applying a thermoelectric device called “Peltier tiles” to power her flashlight, the tiles produce electricity when one side is heated and the other side is cooled. Ann’s battery-free flashlight can be heated with the palm of the hand and is cooled by the surrounding air through the hollow tunnel of the device.

Recently, Ann’s flashlight invention won the Weston Youth Innovation Award 2014 and was recently nominated for the 2015 Danish INDEX award (Design to Improve Life) in January. This past May, Ann won three Awards at the Intel Science Fair in Pittsburg for the e-Drink, a hot beverage-based battery charger. A provisional patent was applied.

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