WHS team takes second in national invention contest
Westlake High School sophomores Hannah Yusoff and Hon Kwok, known as Team KWOFF, won second place in Time Warner Cable’s nationwide “Wouldn’t It Be Cool If” contest.
“Wouldn’t It Be Cool If” is a contest presented jointly by Tim Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds – a five-year, $100 million project to inspire the next generation of problem solvers – and i.am FIRST, musical artist will.i.am’s initiative to support young people in STEM education in collaboration with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Hannah and Hon won a spot as finalists by racking up among the highest number of votes on the contest website.
The contest challenged students in two age categories, 10-12 and 13-15, to dream up the collect invention idea to make their lives, communities and even the world more awesome.
Westlake’s Team KWOFF created a bone analyzer kit that would analyze blood of people who break or facture a bone to check for certain chemicals released into the bloodstream when a bone is broken. The process would show the severity of the injury without exposing someone to radiation from an X-ray.
Hannah said she came up with the idea after hurting her ankle at track practice. Her parents were concerned about exposing her to unnecessary radiation and decided against an X-ray. Hannah and Hon teamed up to enter the contest as an extra credit project in technology teacher Scott Kutz’s class.
As finalists, Hannah and Hon were flown to St. Louis on April 24 as part of the FIRST Robotics Championships. They had five minutes to pitch their idea to will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, inventor Dean Kamen, Mark Payne of the innovation firm Fahrenheit 212 and guest judges to determine a national winner.
Judges evaluated ideas on three areas – creativity, feasibility and usefulness. The grand prize winner, Greyson M. from North Carolina, will have his idea developed by Fahrenheit 212.