Inside Stanford’s science fair on steroids: 10 brilliant student inventions

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wanic kitWanic

What is Wanic? It’s a simple tool kit that allows you to ferment your own coconut juice wine. All you need is the kit, six days, 12 steps and a coconut, and you’ve got yourself a sweet wine with 10 percent alcohol by volume. The compact kit comes with a hole puncher and ceramic parts for removing fiber, fermenting and serving. The presenter told me that Wanic could be a solution for those impoverished but with access to a lovely bunch of coconuts; though she probably meant by selling the alcohol. It might also make a handy tool for those hiking through island-y, coconut-abundant territories.


I’m a sucker for the self-sustaining lifestyle, and ever since I saw Ed Begley with a solar oven, I’ve wanted one portable enough to pack into my zombie apocalypse kit. The parabolic inflatable oven focuses the sun’s rays onto a thermally conductive pot, heating water without electricity or fuel and in a package that collapses down for portability. The team actually plans on distributing the lightweight CookSack at no cost in trial areas of Botswanna and Kenya in August. They say the solar oven would be ideal for washing, cooking as well as water purification.

Caleb b BellBell Microsystems

Dr. Caleb B. Bell ( piqued my interest with talk of cellular regeneration. Thoughts of graphic Wolverine comic scenes danced in my head. Dr. Bell said he aims to create technology that will help some of the problems faced in stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cellular-based therapeutic. The problem with injecting cells is finding non-invasive ways of tracking, anatomic homing and localization for the injected cells and finding a way to kill off an injected cell just in case something goes wrong. His solution? Creating zombie soldier cells by putting non-dilutive “nanomagnets” into the cells. The truly interesting part of his patent-protected solution is that the magnetic stamp does not dilute when the cells divide, nor does it involve mucking about in the genome area. Pretty nifty, bub.

UV Music Visualizersinside stanfords science fair on steroids 10 crazy student inventions uv music visualization

Mr. Parker’s booth looked like a little kid’s lemonade stand. He even advertised a “$10 set-up” scrawled on a small cardboard sign. Small LED lights on the bottom of these bottles corresponded to volume and sound from the music he was playing, translating the electronic frequency to fluorescent liquid in the bottles and lighting them up accordingly. He assured me that every necessary component aside from the empty bottles would be included in the $10.

zombie pop star defenseGameClosure

Another TechCrunch spotlighted product, Game Closure creates HTML5-based multiplayer games for multiple platforms. There’s no need to rewrite software, they write the game once in JavaScript. It’s fast and easy. It’s also great for users because they can play any of these multiplayer games on any device they want: iOS, Android, Facebook and more, with no need for a plug-in.

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