Innovative Minds: James Yu

Avery Coonley School | 7th grade grade | 12 years old

Origami-Based Disaster-Relief Deployable Shelters

About the Idea

I designed an emergency disaster-relief shelter. This structure is a deployable pop-up shelter and is made of cardboard, providing victims of natural disasters who have lost shelter with temporary, affordable, portable, accessible, and recyclable shelter. The structure has a compact stowed configuration and a spacious deployed position.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

I want to share my current design, my passion for origami, and my fascination for paperfolding applications. I also want to gain feedback on my work and design.

What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?

Paperfolding applications in general is a new area of engineering that I am interested in. Paperfolding applications in the past 100 years include passenger airbags, self-folding robots, microsurgery devices, and robotic medical tools. I find paperfolding application mechanisms interesting as I am fascinated as to how such an ancient art form can be used to save lives and improve the everyday life of the community.

In 15 years I hope to be...

In the next 15 years, I hope to be experienced in engineering and how I can use fundamental principles or properties of my passion in origami to solve problems. I want to explore engineering, design, or architecture.

“Never give up on your passions, and always try to help the world become better and more advanced.”