Hollow Flashlight Inventor Aims To Light the World!

Ann Makosinski is a 15-year-old student from Victoria, British Columbia, who invented the "Hollow Flashlight", a flashlight powered by the heat of the human hand. She was recently a winner in the Google Science Fair!Hollow flashlight

Ann Makosinski won in the Google Science Fair's 15-16 age group, beating out thousands of teens and their own scientific inventions and discoveries.

We caught up with Ann about her winning experience, and to discuss the Hollow Flashlights next steps.

"It was amazing!" Ann said. "I didn't expect to win anything at all."

The win came as such as a surprise that Ann didn't even change her clothes or comb her hair before the awards ceremony!

"I didn't think I would have to go up," she explained. "So it was a big shock, and I just can't believe it."

With the incredible invention of the Hollow Flashlight under her belt, she has started speaking with big companies to discuss the next steps for making the flashlight more widely available.

"I would love to get it out to the public, but I think I really want to get my flashlight out first to third world countries, to people who really need it," she said.

Ann was first inspired to create the flashlight when a friend in the Philippines was failing classes because she didn't have electricity at home that would allow her to study and do homework once the sun set.

"I will be working with some people to help get my flashlight distributed around those parts," Ann said. "And definitely to my friends in the Philippines!"

The Hollow Flashlight works using Peltier tiles, which generate electricity when there is a temperature difference. These tiles power the LED lights in the end of the flashlight.

While Ann hasn't had the time to experiment with further applications of that technology, she has thought about it quite a bit.

"I feel it does have a lot of potential in the medical field," she said. "I will be looking into that field and others soon."

Even before she won, Ann's entry in the Google Science Fair put her in the media spotlight. She's been featured on news outlets from the Huffington Post and NBC News to Hello Giggles.

"It's been pretty crazy!" she said. "I didn't expect this much attention at all, and I've never had this much attention before, so I'm enjoying it as it goes. I think my Youtube video helped out a lot."

In the meantime, Ann is doing what she can to spread the use of her Hollow Flashlight. She also made some like-minded friends being part of the Google Science Fair.

"I miss all my GSF buddies so much!" she said. "We still keep in contact, and I hope to maybe see them soon at the International Science Fair next year in May."

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