A global call for high-school students to create human-centric solutions using “Whole System Design Thinking” or “Design Thinking” process.

Human-Centric Solutions

is an approach to product/solution development that puts people first and focusses on user needs, desires and abilities at the center of the development process.

Whole Systems Design Thinking

is an approach that aims to integrate social, economic and environmental factors, interrelationships, and phenomena into a comprehensive design solution.

Design Thinking

is a non-linear, iterative process which seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions.

Pathogen Resistant and Elimination Surface

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Pranav Akella, Grade 11

High School: California High School, San Ramon, CA

Publication Date: July 30, 2021

Abstract:

This research article addresses the issue of surface-acquired infections. Currently, high-use surfaces accrue numerous harmful pathogens, which then are transmitted to and infect thousands of people every year. Current solutions address parts of the problem, but are riddled with flaws that make them either ineffective or unviable, such as not considering human error, cost, and difficult means of implementation. This research article presents a solution that not only is effective but also eliminates many of these flaws. The solution implements nature’s methods of pathogen resistance through the utilization of nanopillars and electric current. Through these methods, it is able to ensure a surface stays virtually pathogen-free, while also being easy to implement and easy to maintain. This solution can ensure high-use surfaces stay pathogen-free with minimal effort and maintenance and can help eradicate surface-acquired infections for good.

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Auto-Adjust Knee Brace

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Aryan Prabhakar Sripada, Grade 12

High School: Washington High School, Fremont, California

Publication Date: July 30, 2021

Abstract:

The purpose of this research article is to address the problem of joint and muscle pain, specifically that experienced in the knee. This problem has brought to light the areas in which the current knee braces lack. People struggle to find proper fits or long-lasting solutions.

My solution is a knee brace designed to change based on the pain levels that the user experiences or the support that the user desires. This knee brace will feature multiple sizes that can then be adjusted to provide a greater fit. Using biomimicry, I was able to create a solution that utilizes the strategies of multiple naturally occurring, potentially pain-relieving processes. This article will go over my solution in depth and discuss the material and function of all features of the knee brace.

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Fistula Detection Method

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Nishanth Vemuri, Grade 12

High School: Irvington High School, Fremont, CA

Publication Date: July 30, 2021

Abstract:

This research article aims to tackle the major issue of fistula identification. Currently, a surgery might result in an infection that can grow to a hollow tube connecting two organs or tissue, also known as a fistula. Detection methods at the moment are either too expensive for individuals or not very accurate in detecting fistulae. The solution mentioned in this paper identifies a fistula in its early stages through a four-step process. Through using brand-new techniques inspired by nature, the solution this article talks about identifies fistulae in an accurate and unique manner. By utilizing a multi-faceted approach, results of identifying a fistula are either confirmed or denied as the process continues. When the process is progressed through, the veracity of the results is increased. Through biomimicry, such as using a canine’s extreme sense of smell and a dolphin’s unique echolocation strategy, the device can accurately identify fistulae even in the harshest conditions. The solution in this paper aims to be a simple process and have a device reusable for patients, effectively identifying fistulae easily and effectively.

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