Continuing its tradition of supporting student scientists and engineers working on EV related research, last week Plug In America gave out four special awards at the 2017 California State Science Fair. Two awards went to students in the Junior division (grades 6-8) and two to the Senior division (grades 9-12).
The first junior project winner was Preston Reynolds, an 8th grader from Sierra Madre Middle School, Sierra Madre, Los Angeles County, with his project, “Teenage Transportation: Can It Be Improved?” Preston was looking for a better transportation solution so he built a battery powered electric skateboard and then compared the efficiency of multiple modes of travel with his design. Preston is using his EV to commute to school daily.
The second junior project winner was Veronica D. McKinney, an 8th grader from Good Shepherd Catholic School, San Diego, San Diego County, for her project entitled, “A Dielectric’s Effect on Capacitance.” Veronica actually designed, built, and tested a variety of capacitors, some larger than a square meter in size. She proved she could calculate the relative dielectric constant of an insulator in a resistor-capacitor circuit. Her project collected an amazing amount of data and showed much perseverance when things didn’t go as planned.
The first senior project winner was Philippe Hansen Estruch, an 11th grader from Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, San Diego County, for his project, “Design of Biodegradable Energy Source to Power Wearable Electronics” For his project he created an efficient, flexible, lightweight, and biodegradable energy power source from low-cost materials. This year’s version is essentially a capacitor but he plans to expand the development to create biodegradable batteries from the technology.
The second senior project winner was Guadalupe Bernal, a 10th grader from Folsom High School, Folsom, Sacramento County, for her project entitled, “Autonomous Off-Road Vehicle Using Computer Vision for Surveillance Applications”. For her project, Guadaloupe designed and built an electric drive outdoor robot that uses a computer vision algorithm to navigate itself autonomously. And she really designed her electric vehicle from the ground up with many hours of 3D printed parts and a tour de force of systems integration to make it all work together.
These students were selected out of over 900 projects at the California State Science Fair for their relevance to EV technology. They are all amazing and well deserving of the EV Excellence awards from PIA!