Young Minds, Big Ideas

I’ve never been good at Science in School, not Chemistry, not Biology, let’s not even mention Physics. But I’ve just been totally blown away by the three teams of Space Lab regional winners aged 14 – 16 years! Their science experiment proposals are way beyond what I can imagine.

First we have Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma from the United States of America, both 16 years old, whose experiment is titled, “Could Alien Superbugs Cure Disease on Earth?”. As Dorothy said, “We’re just one small planet, there’s so much more left to explore”. And explore they definitely did! Studies showed how bacteria grown in space returned more infectious than their counterparts on Earth thus they proposed sending bacteria to the space station but this time to test ways to stop its growth. If that worked, further studies could help create better ways to combat germs on Earth. How awesome is that?

 From a small village in Spain, we have Laura Calvo and María Vilas, both 15 years old, and their experiment is, “Does the Future of Computing Rest in a Drop of Liquid?”. They wished to understand more about fluid physics research on whether microgravity affected the interaction of liquids when mixed with compounds that lower their surface tension. And knowing the answer was important in understanding the effects of miniaturization of electronic materials. Now this is an experiment that could have come out of Discovery Channel itself!

 Lastly we have two 16 year olds, Patrick Seng and Derek from New Zealand, and their experiment is, “Can Hot Air in Space Help Keep us Cool on Earth?”. Now on earth, gravity will affect the heat transfer rate in gases and fluids. However, how will the heat transfer rate in air change in microgravity? They hope that with their experiment, we will be able to create more efficient heating and cooling systems on Earth.

 These are all-rounded youths passionate about science, space and how they can help make the earth a better place (while also making time for music classes and sports!). As Patrick said, “I think I want to experience a type of quietness that you will experience in space. It’ll make you wonder: the wars, the politics, are they really that important. And in space, earth is really, really small.” With such youths in our midst, I am suddenly more hopeful for our future.

To see more experiments: Worldwide finalists (14 – 16 years old)

To learn more about Space Lab:

Michelle Lee is Content Curator for Lenovo Social Media