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This year STEMNET (The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Network) called upon U.K. students to get inspired and innovate the 2012 Paralympic Torch on the principle of physical human strength. Winners of the STEMChallenge hailed from Broxburn Academy in East Scotland, where a team of 11-14-year-olds invented a torch that uses the athlete’s own energy transferred into a Van De Graff generator. As athletes place their hands upon the charging generator on the torch, the energy converts to a small charge powerful enough to ignite the flame. For their impressive brainpower, the Broxburn students received more than $1,000 in equipment for their STEM club and will be in attendance at the 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay.
Get inspired: If your child shows an interest in any of the STEM fields (has she been taking things apart and putting them back together since the age of 2?), check out stemfinity.com for cool toys and educational kits to spark learning and engagement—offerings range from sophisticated (expensive) robotics equipment to smaller fun items such as a creative cosmetics kit that teaches chemistry and more. For further inspiration and to learn more about the STEMChallenge, visit stemchallenges.net.
Melanie Baker hopes her aura is purple, and maintains a strict sushi diet. Big fan of mini-horses, Spotify, and pretending to be fluent in Spanish. She has 19 siblings and counting. See More
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