Google Global Science Fair Winner
Forbes 30 Under 30
Ann Makosinski is a Canadian student, serial inventor and media darling who has made numerous global appearances and given countless keynote talks. Her first toy was a box of transistors, which launched her journey into the world of inventing. Ann participated in local science fairs starting grade 6, and in grade 10 her inspiration grew when her friend in the Philippines failed her grade because she had no electricity or light to study with at night.
The Hollow Flashlight was created… a flashlight that runs off the heat of the human hand! Ann won numerous awards at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, and ultimately won her age category at the 2013 Google Science Fair. She is currently in talks to manufacture and globally distribute her flashlight.
Ann’s next invention was the eDrink, created out of necessity after listening to her high school friends complain about their hot coffee taking too long to cool down, and their phones always running out of battery. Coffee and phones being a mainstay to her generation, Ann combined the two to solve their problem. This invention converts the excess heat of your coffee while cooling into electricity, which will give your phone or iPod a boost of energy. The eDrink won at the 2015 Intel Science and Engineering Fair.
In unrelated news, Ann also enjoys playing the piano, listening to opera, acting, taking old computers apart, and watching silent films.
Most college students are usually found thinking about final exams, summer vacation, and dorm room shenanigans. But before Ann Makosinski ever stepped into a college classroom, she had won the Google Science Fair, garnered awards at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, was featured in TIME Magazine, and appeared on the Tonight Show — twice. Instead of couching herself in the typical definitions of “entrepreneur” or “inventor,” Ann has coined a term for herself: “differentist.”
In today’s celebrated and well-documented innovation economy championed by Silicon Valley wunderkinds like Mark Zuckerberg, we have a tendency to think that the best new ideas are exclusively coming out of Bay Area, or the offices of Apple, Uber, or other tech giants. But sometimes, world-changing ideas come out of a home basement in the suburbs. Join Ann as she explains what it’s like to be a differentist in a world that’s constantly redesigning and reimagining itself, and charting new courses.
Following her big win at Google Science Fair, Ann was named to Time magazine’s 30 under 30 and went on to receive four major awards at the 2014 Intel Science and Engineering Fair and speak at four TEDx events. She brought her hollow flashlight to the Tonight Show in 2014, and was invited back this fall to unveil her new eDrink invention, a travel mug that harvests excess heat from hot drinks and converts it into electricity to give your mobile phone’s battery a boost. Ann’s philosophy is ‘The only way to find out is to build it.’ In this presentation, she shares the benefits of pursuing curiosity. About how dreaming about something, and asking, ‘Is this possible?’ can change the world.
Imagine all the things you can do…off of your phone. Parents be warned. Ann is urging people to ditch their devices and do something else instead with their time. By detaching from smartphones, Ann shares how it has helped her think creatively, made her more sociable, and most importantly, made her the Inventor she is today.
The crucial yet overlooked combination of Science and Art. Ann is passionate about encouraging others to pursue their interests in both the arts and sciences. The best products and inventions have always been a combination of art (design) and science (the technology inside). Steve Jobs himself stated that it was the “technology married with liberal arts” that create the best inventions and bring us joy. Ann’s eclectic upbringing exposed her to a variety of areas in science and art, and she wouldn’t be the same person she is today without it.