Inventions of tinkerers and starry-eyed idealists

They have invented life-saving spectacles and acoustic cloaking devices: young German scientists are stepping up for the finale of the competition “Youth researches”. A look at outstanding projects.

DRÄXLMAIER Group - Youth researches

Germany. Capturing the imagination of schoolchildren for technology and fostering talent – with this goal in mind, the competition “Youth Researches” was launched in 1965. The idea of the then editor-in-chief of Stern, Henri Nannen, worked. Each year, thousands of girls and boys between the ages of ten and 21 take part nation-wide. The best projects are awarded money and non-cash prizes. In this way, many a young researcher has later become a successful scientist or engineer. 

Glasses recognize hypoglycaemia

For people suffering from diabetes, hypoglycaemia is dangerous because it can lead to long-term health risks and even death. Sara-Luisa Reh (17) and Anja-Sophia Reh (14) from Augsburg have discovered a method for the early detection of hypoglycaemia in diabetics. They established a relationship between pupil size and sugar levels, and designed a special pair of glasses to register this. These give a warning signal when blood sugar deviates too much from the normal value.

New technology reduces aircraft emissions

Philipp Sinnewe (18) has developed a new procedure that makes aircraft engines more efficient. The invention of the high school student from Lebach in the Saarland is based on a water-alcohol injection, which has a positive effect on both the thrust of the turbine and emission values. And his method doesn’t raise production costs.

Acoustic cloaking device protects against noise

By using optical cloaking devices, objects can be concealed in such a way that they cannot be registered by radiation – they become, so to speak, invisible. Patricia Asemann (18) of the University of Jena and Konstantin Schnekenburger (16) of the Student Research Centre in Kassel have constructed an acoustic cloaking device. It can shield an object against sound waves and thereby improve sound insulation.

Intelligent sprinkler system limits damages

When a fire breaks out, the intelligent sprinkler system invented by Alexander Riebau (17), Thorben Bartzsch (17) and Gregor Seyeda (18) from Goslar knows its source. It is detected by infrared sensors. The extinguishing system is then directed at the fire and sprays only that area. Unlike conventional systems, that of the young researchers cuts off the supply of water as soon as the fire is extinguished. Their invention thus reduces both fire and water damage.

“Youth Researches“ National Competition, 25 to 28 May 2017 in Erlangen