Teenager Wins $25,000 for Science Venture That Solves Blind Spots in Automobiles
Alaina Gassler typically noticed her mom rising pissed off with blind spots when driving the household’s previous Jeep Grand Cherokee of their Pennsylvania neighborhood.
The problem impressed Ms. Gassler, 14, to design a system that makes use of a webcam to point out something that is likely to be blocked from a driver’s sight.
A panel of scientists, engineers and educators was so impressed together with her prototype that she received the $25,000 high prize on the annual Broadcom MASTERS competitors in Washington final week.
“I used to be shaking a lot once they known as my title as a result of I didn’t count on it in any respect,” Ms. Gassler stated Wednesday.
She beat 29 different center faculty college students within the science and engineering competitors, which drew 2,348 candidates nationwide. The Broadcom MASTERS, or Math, Utilized Science, Know-how, and Engineering for Rising Stars, is an annual competitors from the nonprofit Broadcom Basis and the Society for Science & the Public.
Ms. Glasser’s mom, Meagan, stated the award confirmed her daughter “is a well-rounded particular person, and never simply somebody who had a good suggestion.”
“It felt such as you have been in a cave, the home windows have been small, the pillars have been massive,” her mom stated of the previous Jeep. “You can lose an individual or a automotive in your line of sight.”
Maya Ajmera, president and chief government of the Society for Science & the Public, stated Alaina stood out, not just for the venture but additionally for her management, communication abilities and teamwork with different college students.
“Everyone hates blind spots. Quite a lot of accidents occur due to blind spots,” Ms. Ajmera stated. “She took one thing very private to her — ‘How do I make this simpler for my mother’ — and from there it turned an unbelievable science venture.”
Ms. Gassler, now a freshman at Avon Grove Constitution College in West Grove, Pa., stated she needed to enhance car security by eradicating blind spots created by automobiles’ A-pillars, which help the automotive’s body and maintain windshields in place.
“There are such a lot of automotive accidents and accidents and deaths that might have been prevented from a pillar not being there, and since we will’t take it out of vehicles, I made a decision to eliminate it with out eliminating it,” she stated in her award video.
Her supplies included a projector, a webcam and reflective material. After attaching a webcam on the skin of a automotive’s A-pillar on the passenger aspect, a projector was mounted beneath the automotive’s roof “to venture the picture onto the pillar or the blind spot,” she stated.
To assist the picture change into clearer and brighter, she utilized reflective material on the pillar in order that the picture may be seen solely by the motive force.
She added that the system labored throughout check drives together with her father, Paul. The household posted a video of the design on YouTube, the place it had greater than two million views by Wednesday night time.
For her subsequent prototype, she plans to make use of LCD screens as a substitute of a projector, as a result of the screens would permit the motive force to regulate the brightness and orientation of the picture, she stated.
Ms. Gassler hopes that her prototype might be utilized by automotive and tech corporations sometime. (Her household not has the Jeep that was used within the venture.)
“I’d love to point out my venture to Tesla, as a result of they’re all the time in search of methods to make their vehicles safer and they’re all the time in search of extra futuristic options to place of their vehicles,” she stated.