Innovative Minds: Katherine Webb

Carl G Renfroe Middle School | 8th grade grade | 13 years old

Converting Sound into Electricity

About the Idea

The Conversion of Sound Waves to Electricity. Dynamic microphones mounted on street lamps on highways capture the sound waves of passing cars. Sound waves are mechanical waves, meaning they affect the matter the travel through, so when they enter the magnetic field inside the dynamic microphone an electrical current is induced into the conductive wire.

Why did you enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge?

The Young Scientist Challenge was originally presented as an option for a science project as a grade in the class. I’m a decently competitive person who is very passionate about science so I decided to look into what I would have to do. As I looked over passed winners and topic prompts I got more and more interested. I looked over the topics more and more and decided I might be interested in clean, renewable energy so I started with a bit of basic research and the more google searches I made the more and more genuine interest I took in the topic. So at that point the decision to enter was pretty made up already.

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

I would have to say the camera. Obviously the way the camera opperates and how that has evoled over time is already fascinating but I’d say photography has become a very important thing in our world. The fact that a large number of the population is able to look back on some of the most important parts of their lives through a photograph and almost relive the moment is so amazing to me. The science and sentimental side of the camera is my favorite innvention.

In 15 years I hope to be...

I’d love to be an aerospace engineer for either NASA or a privately owned space travel company. Everything about space amazes me and I cant imagine not spending my life trying to find out as much as I can about our universe. I’d absolutly love to be a research scientists in one of the organizations or on the other hand, work in mission control as CAPCOM (Capsule Communications), FLIGHT (Flight Director), or MOD (Mission Operations Directorate Manager).

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”