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10 Teens Who Are Out to Change the World

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Nancy Golden
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Inspiring
Nancy Golden   6/3/2014 10:51:16 AM
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Amazing snapshops of teens from around the world pursuing innovative solutions that inspire. Make sure and watch the video link provided for Kelvin Doe from Sierra Leone - a self-taught child prodigy whose heart for others is just as inspiring as his mind.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Inspiring
Elizabeth M   6/4/2014 4:43:09 AM
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I was especially impressed with Kelvin's story as well, Nancy. It just shows that even without access to formalized education, the brightest minds can still shine. I'm really happy there are programs so kids like Kelvin can get the opportunity they deserve.

Elizabeth M
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Inspiring teens
Elizabeth M   6/4/2014 5:11:01 AM
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Compiling this list made me realize that, despite many of the negative headlines about teenagers, there are so many inspiring kids out there doing things that deserve a lot more attention. I believe we'll be hearing a lot more in the future from the teens on this list and they all prove that the younger generation is aware of what the world needs more so than many realize.

Ralphy Boy
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Re: Inspiring teens
Ralphy Boy   6/4/2014 9:42:09 AM
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Good stuff Elizabeth...

My daughter and I were just talking a week ago about the fact that many youngsters seem to have a 'what do you mean my phone can't do that?" attitude.

And that once that thought takes hold in the right kid... they just get busy and make an app for that function.

I noticed that the prosthetics were made with Arduino tech. Cheap and easy way (relatively cheap & easy) to do computer control of real world items. This should be a middle school standard offering, along with BeagleBoard and the other top programmable hobby boards. I'd say smart phone app developer should be part of that same class too.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Inspiring teens
Nancy Golden   6/4/2014 10:18:20 AM
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Those are really good thoughts about middle school class offerings, Ralphy Boy. That is a great age for capturing the imagination of youth. Where I grew up we had no electronics classes to speak of - I was the only girl in my shop class which was the closest to hands-on creativity that we had. I remember visiting the parents of a young engineer I used to date - they lived in another state - my then boyfriend at the time took me to his old middle school and we peeked through the windows of his old electronics class. I was amazed at the equipment they had for the kids (I saw at least a couple of o'scopes and function generators on tables and DMMs and a host of electronic parts in bins) - and it was his experience in that class that inspired him to become an engineer.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Inspiring teens
Nancy Golden   6/4/2014 10:22:56 AM
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Elizabeth, while I agree with your statement about some teens being inspiring and innovative, i wish we could come up with some way to affect the teens that are living out technology with video game obsessions. They are spending so much time and energy on "building their stats" in what ultimately is a wasted endeavor.  Maybe someone can invent a video game that can work towards solving real world problems, yet capture the attention of gamers so they are using their time in a productive way.

Zippy
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Re: Inspiring teens
Zippy   6/4/2014 10:59:43 AM
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Nancy, your wish is granted.  There are a number of people and institutions working on apps to apply game technology to real-world problems.  The most famous is probably Fold It, which allows the user to manipulate online strings of amino acids to figure out the 3D structure of important biological proteins which have up until now be unsolved by conventional means:

 

http://gil.poly.edu/event/seth-cooper-solving-difficult-problems-with-video-games/

 

It's kind of like a crowd-sourced CAD program for proteins.

Zippy
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Re: Inspiring
Zippy   6/4/2014 11:11:50 AM
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It is not only inspiring, but instructive to see how many of these bright kids come not only from outside the US, but even from third-world nations.  US technology owes a lot to talented immigrants over the years, and I hope some of the recent trends in restricting US immigration don't impede progress for the whole of humanity.

Nancy Golden
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Re: Inspiring teens
Nancy Golden   6/4/2014 11:17:55 AM
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Zippy - thanks for sharing this! This is indeed encouraging! For anyone interested, here is the link for Foldit


I am going to show this to my sixteen year old son and see how he responds...I might try it myself :)

bobjengr
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Re: Inspiring teens
bobjengr   6/4/2014 5:23:24 PM
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Nancy, I could not agree more.   For the life of me I can't really see the benefits from video games and how those games further a young person's ability to deal with life's problems.  (Of course that's just me.)  The slide show presented by Elizabeth definitely demonstrates the enormous possibility when individuals, including teens, are engaged. I'm blown away by the quality of the devices and projects undertaken.  These kids really have accomplished a great deal in a short time with seemingly limited resources.  Let's hope they follow-through by staying with engineering and technology.  

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