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The “Hollow Flashlight” and Filipino Hearts and Minds

There was this student in Mindanao. Like many Filipinos, they barely eked out a living but like most Filipinos, they also knew that the only way out from their condition is through education. This student had the odds stacked against her. Their electricity was cut because they were too poor to pay for it. Because of this, the student could not study properly and it resulted in the student failing the entire school year. This story is common in this country. But the student had an uncommon friend.

The friend is Ann Mokosinski. Having half Filipino ethnicity and living in Canada, Ann deplored what happened to her friend and she sought a way to be able to help her friend and indirectly those of like circumstances. Ann is only 15 years old.

Knowing the limitations on finances and availability of cheap energy for poor Filipinos, Anne came up with an invention. She called it the “Hollow Flashlight”. It provides light without external power, no batteries and is not solar powered. The flashlight is powered by human body heat. The flashlight will provide light when held by the palm of the hands.

The flashlight uses Peltier tiles that transforms hand warmth into free energy. The principle is that one side is warmed by body heat and the other side is exposed to ambient temperature. The greater the difference in temperature, the more power generated. Ann disclosed that the human body has enough body heat to power 100 watts of light.

Ann started the flashlight as a high school science project and entered it into the Google Science Fair. She won a a US$50,000 scholarship grant and a trip to the Galapagos Islands. She also won Third Award from NASA. But above all, she won the future for many disadvantaged Filipino youths.

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