Born in 1984 as the Star Trek Electronic Phasers, laser tag has always been a great halfway point between games and reality, letting kids and adults go toe-to-toe over the din of electronic blaster noise while still in their living rooms. Nintendo's NES Blaster, the beam-based controller for the game "Duck Hunt," was released the same year, but this was "Duck Hunt" where the ducks fired back. After that, it was often relegated to one-off games in arenas built by businesses, whether Dave & Buster's or a company specializing in the sport.
Clara Lazen is the discoverer of tetranitratoxycarbon, a molecule constructed of, obviously, oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon. It's got some interesting possible properties, ranging from use as an explosive to energy storage. Lazen is listed as the co-author of a recent paper on the molecule. But that's not what's so interesting and inspiring about this story. What's so unusual here is that Clara Lazen is a ten-year-old fifth-grader in Kansas City, MO.
Monday, October 31, is the deadline to enter our education challenge. We're looking for fun, inexpensive lesson plans that teachers can use to teach cutting-edge concepts to students in grades 6 through 8. If you think you've got a great way to communicate the fundamental principles of next-gen research, enter now. You don't have to be a teacher — anyone can get involved, and if your lesson plan is chosen, you'll win $5000, and we'll use your lesson plan to create a teaching guide for use in school across the country.
We always love hearing from passionate, scientific-minded kids, and 13-year-old Riley Lewis, a burgeoning 3-D printer expert (and PopSci reader!) is certainly that. Riley showed interest in fabrication and Maker culture, so Deelip and 3D Systems hooked him up with a RapMan 3.1 3-D printer kit that he's set up at his Silicon Valley school--and Riley in turn has hooked his classmates into discovering the potential of 3-D printing with him.
Proving that the FIRST program is much more than games of robotic awesomeness, a team of Girl Scouts in Iowa engineered a prosthetic device that allowed a Georgia toddler to write for the first time. The device won an inaugural X Prize Global Innovation Award and the team has applied for a patent.