Thirteen-year-old William Yuan…
….began working with solar cells two years ago, after science teacher Susan Duncan encouraged him to tackle an engineering project. He spent hours searching the Internet, brainstorming with Duncan, and talking with professionals before he found a topic that piqued his interest: the global energy crisis. Building on research from Georgia Tech and Notre Dame universities, Yuan found a way to improve the conversion efficiency and yields of solar cells.
Most solar cells absorb visible light to produce electricity, but his design harnesses both visible and ultraviolet light. That’s particularly helpful in cloudy areas, such as where he lives in the Pacific Northwest, because the solar cell can continue to generate electricity even when clouds obscure the Sun. To achieve this result, Yuan applied various coatings, integrated nanotubes, and added specialized nanostructures to a typical solar cell. Experts have given his method a thumbs-up. (Source: Edutopia)
A Few Thoughts
- Please consider reading the full story.
- Congratulations William!!! Not only am I impressed by your discovery, but your diligence and ability to collaborate with others in resourceful ways is inspiring.
- I send my respect and appreciation to Susan Duncan, William’s science teacher from 2 years ago, who seems to have played an instrumental and ongoing role in William’s personal work. I’d like to find her blog, website, etc. if it’s out there.
- What lessons can educators and parents learn from this?
- What can other young people take away from William’s journey and scientific breakthrough?