Student Innovators’ Wind Power Algorithm and Educational Storybook Win Awards in International Innovation Challenge

Sofia Tomov (HAWC); Paige Atkinson & Catie Tomasello

The Paradigm Challenge taught me that one person can truly make a difference in the world.

A Tennessee 8th grader who developed an algorithm to deliver wind power more efficiently and a team of Florida students who created an educational storybook about the environment have tied for 1st Place in the 9-13 age group in The Paradigm Challenge, the world’s largest youth innovation and kindness competition. Students aged 4 to18 from 173 countries participated in this year’s competition, which challenged students to come up with new ideas to reduce waste in homes, schools, communities, and/or around the world.

Sofia Tomov, a 13-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, used her prior experience working with artificial intelligence to develop her award-winning innovation — Hybrid Algorithms for Wind-power Computation (HAWC). HAWC uses machine learning to more accurately predict turbine power output. Inaccurate predictions, which will be minimized by HAWC, force utilities to use expensive backup plants.

“My innovation can help reduce the need for wasteful backup plants, saving utility companies energy and money,” explained Tomov. “By reducing waste, my project can give utility companies a stronger incentive to use wind power. This can enable the growth of wind power.”

Prior to HAWC, Tomov developed an algorithm to determine whether patients have mutations in their genomes. Research has shown that patients’ adverse reactions to prescription drugs can sometimes be tied to differences in their DNA due to mutations. Tomov’s algorithm was a national finalist in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Tomov believes young people can find…

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