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Hannah Herbst and her simple-but-effective invention


There has been a big victory for the world in electronics – a new invention called an “ocean energy probe” that generates power from falling and rising tides. 15-year-old Florida prodigy Hannah Herbst has created this new device that can convert the energy of an ocean current to electricity that will be able to power a generator, medical devices, and other contraptions. The idea is based from the motion of tide flux and how it can be used in a beneficial way.


Hannah Herbst

Hannah Herbst

Herbst plans to mass produce her invention and give it away to less-developed countries around the world. To be more specific, she wants help out people who don’t have access to electricity, as it has been confirmed that about 70% of the world’s population lacks an abundant supply of such. Herbst believes that helping those in poverty is more important than commercializing and selling her invention for a profit.

She couldn’t have done all of this without the support of her father, who was a dean in the college of education at Florida Atlantic University. When she was in middle school, he signed her up for a summer engineering and technology camp. Although Hannah was more interested in theater and the performing arts, she went and developed new ideas on using renewable energy to produce electricity. She was inspired to use the changing tide as a renewable resource when she went fishing with her father one day.

After that day, her eighth-grade mechatronics teacher urged her to develop her first, functioning prototype. Provided with the materials from her teacher, Herbst began her trial-and-error process that woud eventually result in success with the new probe made.

She then heard about the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, submitted a video of her exceptional project, and won the contest and the $25,000 prize. Herbst proved her motives by donating a good portion of that to charity and continues to work towards her dream of helping the rest of the world.

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January 4, 2016 |

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