Saanich teen’s newest invention can use hot coffee to power devices

READ MORE: Saanich teen Ann Makosinski impressed a lot of people with her human-powered flashlight. Kylie Stanton reports on her latest efforts to change the world.

Ann Makosinski hasn’t had an ordinary adolescence.

From appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, to being named one of Time Magazine’s 30 Under 30, the 17-year-old from Saanich has attracted international attention for her invention – a flashlight powered by the heat of the human hand.

READ MORE: Victoria teen wins top honours at Google Science Fair for ‘Hollow Flashlight’

“I definitely find a lot of satisfaction in finding out how things work and putting things together,” she says.

“My first toy was a box of transistors. I was always taking garbage from around the house and making my own toys. I wasn’t given a Wii or an Xbox or anything.”

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While Makosinski’s flashlight is now in production for mass use, she’s unveiling her newest invention at an upcoming science fair in Pittsburgh. It takes some of the same principles from her ‘Hollow Flashlight’, but applies it to a coffee cup that can power other devices.

“I saw how you get a hot drink…and you’d just be waiting and waiting it to cool down so you can start drinking,” she said.

“Why not harvest some of that lost heat, which is energy, and convert it to electricity?”

While she has high hopes for her ‘E-Drink’, there are also more pedestrian worries for Makosinski as she prepares for her final exams.

“I’m trying to concentrate on my grades, which is tricky,” she says.

“It’s very hard to juggle a science fair project as well as your schoolwork.”

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