When 15-year-old Ann Makosinski, who lives in Victoria, British Columbia, found out that her friend in the Philippines was failing in school because her family has no electricity, which was keeping her from doing her homework at night, it seemed to Ann that there must be an economical way to fix the problem.

So she went to work and developed a “hollow flashlight” powered by the heat of the human hand—you just hold onto it and the flashlight gives off light. Pretty cool, huh?

She entered her flashlight in the local science fair and won second prize. (Really, only second prize for such an ingenious invention?) Luckily, Ann’s marine biology teacher urged her to enter the 2013 Google Science Fair, where Ann won first prize for her age group—a cool trophy made of Legos and…$25,000! That’s more like it.

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