Meet Nicole Ticea: She's 16 & Has Just Changed the World.

What were you doing when you were 16? Me? Ha. Well, I played lots of soccer and drew a lot... & we'll just leave it at that. 😁

But, these kids... wowzers.

"Earlier this summer, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair—the world’s largest high school science research competition—was held in the United States and 1,700 of the world’s brightest teen scientists, engineers, and innovators competed for $4 million in awards. One of those winners was Nicole Ticea, 16, from Canada. Nicole received one of two Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards for developing an inexpensive, easy-to-use testing device to combat high rates of undiagnosed HIV infection in low-income communities. Her device—which is both disposable and electricity-free—provides results in less than one hour and is expected to cost less than $5 to produce. Not to shabby for a gal who is just barely old enough for her drivers test!"

"Nicole’s device is incredibly impressive and appears to be a simple and vital solution to diagnosing HIV sooner rather than later to allow patients to begin treatment and decrease transmission as soon as possible. Nicole explained in greater detail: 'So, what I’ve done is I’ve presented the very first nucleic acid test on a fully disposal platform for on-location analysis of HIV. So, essentially how it works is it looks to see if you have any HIV DNA or RNA present in your blood stream. This is really vital because HIV DNA and RNA are the very earliest biomarkers of HIV infection and this means that we can really diagnose HIV in its earliest stages. And this is significant because it means that we could initiate therapy very, very early when it’s most effective and also we could significantly decrease the risk of transmission by having individuals aware of their HIV status.'”

Being in middle school or high school can be rough. People just want to fit in, be like everyone else, and sort of fly under the radar. It takes a lot of confidence to stand out in a crowd. Nicole's also got some great advice for kids interested in STEAM studies, for it's not always easy to be a female in such male dominated classes.

“To those [middle school aged] girls, I would say do exactly what you’re doing because when you’re that age, it all about being extremely receptive and sensitive to the world around you, so react to new things, explore, wonder, make up stories, be creative. And then as you grow older, I would actually say try not to lose that initial spark, that excitement, almost that challenge that comes with exploring new things and seeing things for the very first time.”

“To those [high school aged] girls, I would say do exactly what you’re doing because when you’re that age, it all about being extremely receptive and sensitive to the world around you, so react to new things, explore, wonder, make up stories, be creative. And then as you grow older, I would actually say try not to lose that initial spark, that excitement, almost that challenge that comes with exploring new things and seeing things for the very first time.”

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Source: INTEL, Amy's Smart Girls

#awards #design #genius #science #kids #tech #medicine

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In America, & throughout the world, women are drastically underrepresented in STEAM fields, as well as in positions of power & influence.  We must do our part to begin to narrow the gap!  #WomenInSTEAM is dedicated to celebrating the women who are making their mark in the world... standing tall in a crowd of men & innovating in ways that energize us all.  Ladies, let's inspire the next generation of girls!  Lets show them that smart is beautiful, confidence is key, and independence is living! 

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