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.

Nuclear Fusion

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Hari Srinivasan - Grade 11

High School: Quarry Lane High School, Dublin, CA, USA.

Publication Date: July 24, 2020

Abstract:

The purpose of this research article is to provide an answer to a question that might progress human technology and production to new avenues. Finding a renewable and clean energy source is a very difficult task, as each clean energy source has its own complications that prevent it from universal usage. However, one of these is nuclear fusion which has been hypothesized to be the best method of energy production, but was never proven due to complications with money and efficiency. This research article strives to give a solution.

The solution is based on biological methods of energy production. Biology and evolution has done millions of years of trial and error to test which is the most efficient way for an organism to gain energy. While the comparison between biological organisms and a nuclear fusion power plant is not one to one, we should still consider the biological brilliance of our energy production process. The solution takes inspiration from design strategies of biological energy production as well as pre-existing fusion reactors.

While this solution may not be the definitive answer on how to construct a nuclear fusion reactor, it should guide nuclear fusion research closer to the answer with more biological inspirations. While money is always an issue, the benefits of mastering nuclear fusion heavily outweigh the costs.

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Micro-flow: Household Microplastic Filter

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Saniya Shrotriya, Grade 11

High School: Milpitas High School, Milpitas, CA, USA

Publication Date: July 24, 2020

Abstract:

Many microplastics land in the ocean via household drains. This research article aims to describe the features of a microplastic filter that people can implement in their daily lives in order to resolve this issue. The device includes three separate filters for optimal results. The topmost filter allows larger waste to be trapped to prevent any obstructions in the microplastic portion of the filter. The next segment is for microplastics smaller than 0.5 mm. This includes a series of grooves that allows microplastics to flow through and eventually stick to a sticky mucus layer. The rest of the microplastics greater than 0.5 mm are trapped in a small sealable bag at the end of the filter. Biomimicry is incorporated throughout the article to create efficient filtration solutions. Marine animals and organisms are the main source of inspiration as they contain their own filtration systems.

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Safe Desalination Brine Disposal and Treatment system

Process Used: Whole System Design Thinking

Author: Saiganesya Jonnalagadda, Grade 11

High School: Armador Valley High School, Pleasonton, CA, USA

Publication Date: July 24, 2020

Abstract:

This research article aims to address the problem of toxic Brine being produced and reduce its harmful effect on the environment. My design solution will increase efficiency in the Desalination Plants and also allow for a much cleaner output from the plant. Biomimicry was an inspiration for my solution design, and it allowed me to study living organisms that remove toxic chemicals and reduce the salt levels in the solution.

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