Hannah Herbst, an eighth grader in Boca Raton, Florida, just became America’s Top Young Scientist.
The 14-year-old designed and built a small turbine she calls BEACON, for Bringing Electricity Access to Countries Through Ocean Energy Collection.
“Shortly after school began,” Herbst wrote in a blog post for the contest, “I received a letter from my nine-year-old pen pal in Ethiopia, Africa. She wrote about how she has no access to lights, a steady flow of fresh water to drink, and other basic necessities. I recognized that her situation was not unique and believed that I could use the skills I acquired to take action in an attempt to mitigate the global energy crisis.”