One of our students had a particularly exciting summer; Ann Makosinski was the sole Canadian out of 15 finalists in the Google Science Fair, which officially wrapped up at the end of August. Last year, we spoke to her after her success at a local science fair and here she tells us about what’s happened since then.
Tell us about why you entered the Google Science Fair competition. What did it involve?
One of my teachers suggested I should enter. I literally submitted my project 45 minutes before the deadline. I don’t remember the exact rules/process, but I know you had to have some sort of study, innovation etc. completed to submit, along with the usual written report. I also attached a video to mine, as we had the option of attaching either a slideshow or video.
How did you end up making it to the top 15? What was the elimination process like?
Out of the thousands that apply, they somehow wade through all the projects and pick 90 regional finalists. After some interviews with select competitors, they choose the top 15, from around the world, to compete.
Did you feel a lot of pressure as the only Canadian representative?
Of course! I have a lot of stress walking side by side with me whatever I’m doing, wherever I go. I don’t think I’ll get anything at all – I have like a 5 % chance, if I’m lucky, to win anything – so I hope Canada hasn’t gotten too excited about it. But I think it’s just a great experience to go and meet these amazing people at Google. After all, it’s better to at least try than to just sit back and wonder what would have happened…
You got a lot of views on YouTube. How did it feel to have that much attention?
I was very surprised with the public’s reaction. I guess you could say it was definitely a new experience for me to go viral. I got very conscious and still am on my actions and everything I do online. For example, now with all my subscribers and the public eye on me, I think before I like certain videos, watch my comments (aka not releasing my inner fan girl to the world), etc.
You also applied for a patent for your invention. Where you are on that front?
I have filed a provisional patent application with the United States and Trademark Office. So I’m on my way (hopefully) to a patent. If I can afford it.
What’s next for you and your amazing invention?
I’m not exactly sure. I could perhaps look into mass producing it and putting them into emergency kits etc. Or I could take the technology itself and apply it to other areas, eg. medical devices. However, before I did any of that I would want to improve it a lot in its efficiency, design, etc.
Over the summer, the school got a message from someone offering you supplies to help improve your design. Did you take her up on the offer?
Yes, I did get in touch! I believe I’m getting samples of artificial diamonds and other materials soon! Very excited, as diamonds are great heat conductors!