Just about every day hundreds of weather balloons are launched all around the planet, making use of radiosondes to measure pressure, relative humidity, and temperature. The balloons aren’t environmentally friendly, even though, in component mainly because they are created out of nonrecyclable supplies this kind of as latex. Also, there is a large amount of squander.

Right after a handful of several hours in the air, a weather balloon bursts and its radiosonde falls to the floor via a parachute. Out of the 75,000 radiosondes released just about every calendar year in the United States, only 20 p.c are observed and returned, according to the Countrywide Temperature Services. The expense of changing them adds up.


Amon Schumann, a senior at the Robert-Havemann-Gymnasium college, in Berlin, has invented eco-pleasant, price-helpful remedies.

A young man holding a device called a radiosonde
Amon Schumann’s radiosonde for temperature balloons is equipped with a solar-run battery and GPS.Lynn Bowlby

Schumann crafted a coin-size, photo voltaic-driven radiosonde that weighs 4.8 grams—far more compact than present types, which weigh about 96 g. The weather balloon he designed can continue to be in the air lengthier than traditional styles as perfectly.

His Small Radiosondes on a Wonderful Mission project was showcased in May at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair held in Atlanta.

At a distinctive awards ceremony, Schumann was caught by surprise when it was introduced that his challenge been given the IEEE Presidents’ Scholarship. The award was established by the IEEE Basis to admit a deserving university student for a challenge that demonstrates an knowing of electrical or electronics engineering, laptop science, or other IEEE discipline of interest. The scholarship is administered on behalf of IEEE Academic Routines and is payable about four years of undergraduate university analyze. Schumann also acquired a complimentary IEEE college student membership. Susan K. “Kathy” Land, the 2021 IEEE president, offered Schumann with this year’s scholarship.

“In comparison to launching 2,000 to 5,000 balloons that continue to be up for just two to three several hours, my balloon can stay up in the air for 52 days.”

Schumann was inspired to strengthen radiosondes and temperature balloons all through a check out to a regional meteorology museum. There he figured out that radiosondes have not noticeably adjusted in the previous 100 several years.

Environmentally Helpful

Mainly because of the maximize in air force at significant altitudes, temperature balloons burst at about 35 kilometers. To tackle the dilemma, Schumann utilized layers of foil welded together, furthermore a heated Teflon wheel, to build a balloon that is ready to withstand better altitudes.

“In comparison to launching 2,000 to 5,000 balloons that keep up for just two to 3 hrs, my balloon can stay up in the air for 52 times, so fewer balloons have to be released,” he claims.

His radiosonde offers a number of moments far more measurement info per day in comparison with common kinds launched each and every two months. The radiosondes are equipped with a photo voltaic-powered battery, which is about 20 grams lighter than a lithium battery.

Schumann also formulated an extension module with a camera to file further data this sort of as cloud formation.

“The camera can acquire aerial images of the clouds,” he suggests, “which makes it possible for for a additional exact perspective of their formation and connections in comparison to a traditional radar system.”

He additional GPS to observe his radiosonde in real time. The radiosonde’s site is uploaded to his balloon flight tracker, which he hopes will be of use to these needing weather conditions data.

The software package he developed enables for the radio weather conditions knowledge packets to be transmitted in real time from his radiosonde to an assessment device in his household. The information is then despatched to the Citizen Weather Observer System, a volunteer-centered community. From there it’s forwarded to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for doable use in standard weather forecasting.

Schumann claims he designs to examine electrical engineering at a technological university in Berlin.

Brain-Pc Interface

This year’s second-position recipient was Navya Ramakrishnan, a senior at Plano Senior Large Faculty, in Texas. Her interface takes advantage of brain signals to comprehensive family tasks this sort of as turning on a tv.

Ramakrishnan’s brain-computer system interface was built for folks with paralysis and neuromuscular issues including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She claims her inspiration arrived from the equipment Steven Hawking created that utilised his eye actions to connect.

“That was undoubtedly the starting up position, when I believed about a way to have a universal communication-aid equipment for ALS individuals,” Ramakrishnan claims. In its place of utilizing eye actions, she made use of mind waves calculated by an EEG headset to gauge exercise.

A female student wearing a lanyard identifying her as a finalist at ISEF.
2nd-position recipient Navya Ramakrishnan designed a brain-personal computer interface to aid these with paralysis and neuromuscular disorders do home tasks these kinds of as turning on a television. Lynn Bowlby

She identified that a spike in the EEG data, a P300 signal, occurs in response to an event. Using a laptop keep track of, she developed a visible display of normally utilised property-automation command phrases. The BCI procedure is related with the home’s circuit, which controls lights, appliances, and a lot more. The command is performed by using wireless transmission to the element of the circuit in management of that process.

When people see their wanted command flash on the watch, they rely in their head until finally it stops—which triggers a reaction and results in a P300 sign. The BCI program pinpoints which command lit up at the time the signal occurred.

“Let’s say the user wishes to convert on a gentle. Each and every time that ‘Light on’ command flashes on the display I check with them to depend in their head,” she describes. “The counting will produce that ‘Oh, there’s the light on command,’ reaction, and it will produce that spike in the EEG information.

“Essentially what my process does,” she says, “is check with, ‘Where did those P300 indicators arise?’ Because where by they take place usually means the user just reacted to the command that flashed on the display screen.”

Ramakrishnan said she will be attending Harvard this yr to go after a diploma in pc science with a concentration in thoughts, mind, and conduct.

Detecting Leukemia

Adelle Jia Xin Yong, a junior at Westlake Higher University in Austin, Texas, was awarded 3rd place for her Wise Leukemia Labs task. Her portable microscope and diagnostic instrument accurately and swiftly detects acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

A female student holding a black portable microscope and diagnostic tool.
Adelle Jia Xin Yong was awarded 3rd place for her moveable microscope and diagnostic instrument that precisely and promptly detects acute lymphoblastic leukemia from a fall of blood.Lynn Bowlby

The invention is suitable with smartphones. An attachment magnifies a fall of blood on a .5-millimeter glass slide up to 1,000 situations. An app that utilizes item detection, impression recognition, and semantic segmentation identifies irregular blood cells to diagnose leukemia.

Yong suggests her invention brings together her enthusiasm for supporting the neighborhood and improving upon access to wellbeing treatment.

“In seventh grade I experienced a pal who regretably experienced leukemia,” she suggests. “As I noticed her go by way of the treatment options, I questioned how people today who didn’t have access to the technologies she had ended up in a position to attain therapies or even a analysis.”

Yong’s diagnostic instrument is qualified at all those dwelling in underserved regions. It expenditures about US $28 to make and uses lower-charge materials, most of which can be observed about the property, this sort of as a steel pin and a very small plastic tube.

When Yong heard her title called at the truthful, she was stunned, she states.

“ISEF is a seriously huge thing,” she suggests. “I was content with my invention, but I did not know I would win a thing. I am just totally thrilled.”

Yong’s father launched her to engineering. In 2020 she taught herself how to code by seeing YouTube films.

She started GStar, a club at her higher school that is centered on empowering women in science, technological know-how, engineering, and math fields.

She claims she hopes to show up at healthcare university and become a doctor. Her goal is to transform her patented prototype into a viable merchandise with the support of manufacturers and labs.