Think you’re smart?
After meeting these three, you might find yourself feeling a little bit more like Homer Simpson.
Earlier this month, Coquitlam students Janice Pang, Vladislav Pomogaev, and Kelvin Zhang are among the winners of coveted gold metals at the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair, and have been chosen to jet off to Montreal for the national competition next month.
Listen: Host Ian Power talks innovation and what’s in store at the Canada-Wide science fair with three gold-medal winning Coquitlam teens
So what exactly have these three been up to?
Vlad Pomogaev, a grade 12 student at Riverside Secondary, got his invite to the nationals for building an electric skateboard.
“It’s like a magic carpet. You’ve got one of the wheels propelled by a motor, and basically takes you from point A to point B at 35 kilometers an hour.”
Pomogaev says his device is powered by lithium ion batteries, and was put together using repurposed drone and remote controlled airplane parts.
To top it off, the whole thing is controlled remotely from an android app.
Janice Pang’s project shows has her sights set on a future in cutting edge medical research.
“Looked at the affects of insulin and glucagon on functions of a white blood cell called macrophage.”
Confused? Us too. In layman’s terms?
The grade 12 from Pinetree Secondary says she’s looking at how a pair of hormones could affect white blood cells — which can cause inflammation, known to play a part in the development of type two diabetes.
“They are in very close proximity to these hormones insulin and glucagon, and nobody has really investigated the effects of these hormones on macrophage functioning.”
She says she hopes by targeting the hormones, the idea could one day lead to better treatment for diabetes or other inflammatory diseases.
Self taught self driving cars
– has only had his learner’s permit for two days, but he’s already on his way to the cutting edge of driver-less cars.
The 10th grader from Gleneagles Secondary isn’t just developing a boring old run of the mill self-driving car.
He’s working on one that’s self taught too.
He says he got the idea after reading an article about Google’s self driving car crashing into a bus.
“What I noticed was that most self driving cars in today’s industry don’t know how to think by themselves, they follow a set of instructions that were implemented by the programmer. But they don’t know how to think, so when they encounter a situation that they’re not familiar with it can lead to a crash or the car can just stop by itself.”
The teen, who says he’s always been fascinated by cars and racing games, built his car to learn to drive from scratch, with no original driving instructions.
“It learned from a stage where it didn’t know anything – not even of the controls.”
The trio will be hopping a plane to Montreal in a few weeks, where they’ll attend the Canada Wide Science Fair which kicks off May 18th.