China / Innovation

Students compete in national science competition

By Sun Xiaochen ( Updated: 2014-11-26 17:25

Can you imagine recharging your smartphone simply by pouring water or even urine into a small box to generate power?

It may sound unrealistic but was just one invention by Chinese students, who competed in the national final of the 2014 "Solve for Tomorrow" scientific innovation and experiment contest last week, which have the potential to become real in the near future.

The national final was composed of two sections, a creative contest and a challenge segment.

After regional preliminaries, which attracted 2,050 teams from high schools and colleges across the country, 19 teams brought their ideas and working prototypes to the final of the creative contest, where they demonstrated the inventions through 20-minutes of presentation, operation and question and answer sessions with the judging panel, which included renowned scholars, officials and media professionals.

The phone charger, named HydrBox for its hydrogen fuel battery core, an energy-saving window light, which uses power generated from indoor-outdoor temperature differences, and an air filter that could significantly improve air quality were among the inventions that addressed common problems in daily life.

"The ideas and products demonstrated at the final were truly creative," said Lu Lunyan, director of the climate and energy program of World Wildlife Fund China. "What's even more amazing is that these inventions showed how we can address real-life issues related to the environment, agriculture and industry, as well as information technology, with new approaches. Most of the ideas have great operability and practicability."

Teams from Beijing No 4 Middle School and Henan province's Nanyang Normal University won the middle school and college categories with their prototypes of an automatic paver and an automatically adjusting lighting system.

In the challenge contest, teams from the East China University of Science and Technology, Hubei Normal University, Zunyi Normal College and Anyang No 37 Middle School won national titles after successfully solving challenges in wind power utilization, data transmission and information security protection.

All six winning teams will be rewarded with scientific funding and a trip to the United States, sponsored by Samsung Electronics Co, to experience the latest high-tech products at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

A series of online and on-site scientific promotion activities and educational events were also held during the contest, as well as lectures by experts such as Suo Shuangfu, a professor of mechanical engineering at Tsinghua University.

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