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Georgia elementary school class receives national honors for vaccine idea developed in conjunction with GT-IEN faculty Dr. Wilbur Lam

A fifth grade team from Georgia’s Braelinn Elementary School competing in the ExploraVision competition, sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association, received an honorable mention award for their development of a flu “Super Vaccine” based on nanotechnology principles.

The “Super Vaccine” is a 30 year in one shot replacement for the present-day flu shot that uses gold nanoparticles. The vaccine works by releasing gold nanoparticles of different sizes in the body and then using an external source of varying amplitude to activate the particles in different years, eliminating the need for an annual shot.

The class that developed the “Super Vaccine” proposal was invited, along with their instructor, Ms. Laura Brown, to Georgia Tech to tour the nanotechnology facility & cleanroom at IEN. The students also met with Professor Wilbur Lam and his research team to conduct research and confirm the validity of their concept.

“It was very exciting to get to go and dress up in clean suits,” said Brown.

ExploraVision, a competition for grades K-12, challenges students to envision and communicate new technology 20 years in the future through collaborative brainstorming and research of current science and technology.

Each invention must include an abstract, description, bibliography, and five sample web pages. Within the description, students must include an overview of present technology, history of the technology from its inception, description of the team’s future idea, research and breakthroughs necessary to make the future idea a reality, the design process of the idea, and the potential positive and negative consequences of the new technology on society.