Inspiring story of young inventor Maanasa Mendu from FastCoExist.
Thirteen-year-old Maanasa Mendu was watching tree branches sway in the wind when she noticed that the movement looked like piezoelectric materials—tiny devices that generate power through vibration. The insight helped inspire her design for a new type of renewable energy gadget.
Mendu won the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her design, which uses small solar “leaves” to collect energy from the sun. As the wind blows or rain falls on the leaves, they also capture energy through vibration.
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