Skip to main content

Meet the winners of the Ant-Man Micro-Tech Challenge and their cool inventions

Ant-Man Micro-Tech Challenge Winners
Marvel’s Ant-Man Micro-Tech Challenge kicked off this year from May 21 to June 11. No, the challenge was not to shrink things, but to use at least one inexpensive, easy to buy micro-tech component in a do-it-yourself project, and it was open to girls aged 14 to 18 as a way to encourage their STEM interests. Part of the submission includes videos showing off their projects and explaining what makes them inspire other young girls to get into science, technology, engineering, and math.

Sponsored by Marvel, Visa, Dolby Labs, and Rasberry Pi, the winners got a trip to Hollywood to attend the red-carpet world premiere of Marvel’s Ant-Man June 29. The next day, they got to meet with Walt Disney Imagineers when they participated in “The Evolution of Technology” workshop at Disneyland, and a behind the scenes trip around the Disneyland resort, and a tour of Walt Disney Studios.

Back in the winners’ home towns, the Ant-Man Challenge organizers will provide build instructions for the winning projects to a local STEM program. The winners will have the chance to lead a workshop showing off the project to her local community. Five girls were chosen for their ingenuity.

Ant-Man Premiere Interview:- Christophe Beck and Micro Tech Challenge Winners

Maxine Hartnett, an 18-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, made a sound-actuated lantern using PWM pins to alter LED light levels. It can change color and blink in time to music. As an easy DIY, she thinks building it will give girls just getting started with STEM a confidence boost.

Elizabeth Almasy, a 17-year-old from Durham, North Carolina, made an octopus-shaped automated bubble blower. Completing this project required work with servos and micro-controllers. Her project’s message to other girls is that science can, in fact, be fun.

Sixteen-year-old Ashita Patel form Columbus, Georgia, built a robotic arm that draws computer images. She considers her project a beginning of the integration of art and design in to STEM, which could make science, technology, engineering, and math interesting to more girls.

Anna Nixon of Portland, Oregon, turned a teddy bear into an interactive toy that would put Teddy Ruxpin to shame. The new teddy has face detection and voice recognition, and uses a graphical interface. This 14-year-old wants to add real-time health detection features with the intention of using it with kids who are scared by visits to the doctor.

Allison White, a 16-year-old from Kaysville, Utah, invented a smart showerhead with a water usage limiter. The showerhead notifies the showerer when they go over their water usage by lighting up a ring of color-coded lights around the head. This is an obviously useful invention to most of the residents of California and throughout the world as water scarcity increases.

Editors' Recommendations

Aliya Barnwell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Aliya Tyus-Barnwell is a writer, cyclist and gamer with an interest in technology. Also a fantasy fan, she's had fiction…
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer
woman-in-bed-wearing-twilight-apollo-on-ankle

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more