May 2, 2019
NewFerro Roads, a project made by Uni subfreshmen Benjamin Chang, Shoorsen Gandhi, Nate Jones and Ryan Wang, earned first place in the grade 7-9 division of the 2018-19 Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision regional competition (Our region is comprised of Canada and ten midwestern states) and then went on to earn second place in the national competition, where they competed against 5 other teams who had also won their regional competitions. As second place winners, they will receive a $5000 savings bond and cost of travel to Washington DC.
This is the twenty-fourth year that Uni has competed in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision competition and the second year for subfreshmen entrants. Uni has the best record of any school in this international technology competition, with students winning $200,000 in scholarship bonds during that time. You can learn more about the competition at https://thingsbiological.wordpress.com/exploravision/ or http://www.exploravision.org/.
NewFerro Roads project description:
"Damaged road surfaces cause popped tires, broken axles, and loss of vehicle control, which lead to accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, each motorist spends $290 on average on car repairs due to detreating roads each year, totaling $410 billion wasted. NewFerro Roads will revolutionize road maintenance by using an advanced magnetic nanofluid, Phase-Mag Fluid (PMF), which allows the road to self-repair. When weight is applied to the weight-sensitive plastic layer on top, microcontrollers inside the PMF emit a magnetic field, turning the PMF solid. In the absence of weight, the microcontrollers deactivate their magnetic field, and the PMF turns liquid. The microcontrollers are powered by resonant inductive chargers in the film that are fueled by solar cells. Despite the high initial cost, NewFerro Roads would be cost-efficient in the long term by significantly reducing road maintenance and preventing accidents."
Click here to view the project website.