On her trips to the Philippines, Ann Makosinski saw conditions that were less ideal than her home in British Columbia. Seeing her friends fail entire grades in school because they had no electricity and no light to study at night, made her think of a solution for their plight.
Ann created the Hollow Flashlight, a flashlight that uses peltier tiles to create light. She has presented her invention at the Google Science Fair, in which she took 1st place in the 15-16 category. She also showed off the flashlight at TEDx Renfrew Collingwood and TEDx Redmond.
The flashlight works by using the temperature delta between the palm of the hand and the ambient air inside a hollow aluminum tube. It powers three LEDs and the tiles can produce up to 5.4 milliWatts and 5 foot-candles of brightness. The flashlight had to work regardless of the weather conditions, in the quiet dark environment of a house in the middle of the Philippines with no electricity. The solution was the peltier tiles used in Ann’s 7th grade science fair project.
Ann hopes that her flashlight will be available in emergency preparedness kits, and also be used on a massive scale in developing countries. Her ultimate goal is to eliminate non-recyclable batteries and make power generation cleaner and greener. Ann Makosinski’s story is an inspiration to all aspiring inventors and young science enthusiasts. She has proven that great ideas don’t need huge budgets or extensive labs, all they require is some ingenuity and creativity.