High school junior Jack Andraka was not satisfied at winning $100,000 in last year’s Intel science fair for developing a paper strip that might become the world’s best test for pancreatic cancer.
With friends he’d made at the fair, the 16-year-old has set off on a new quest: the $10 million Tricorder X-Prize. The aim of the contest is to build a diagnostic device like the imaginary one used on the TV series “Star Trek”—by a 2015 deadline.
“I just thought it would be cool to have a team of all high school students,” Andraka says.
Now the teenagers, who call themselves Generation Z, are trying to build a wireless, handheld machine that monitors vital signs while diagnosing 15 diseases from apnea to atrial fibrillation. They spend their free time in donated lab space and communicate by Skype.
— Adapted from “Just Like on Star Trek,” Nicholas Hunt, Washingtonian.