Taken From The Kansas City Star
By Beth Lipoff
Printing a human liver on a 3-D printer and using a robot to plant probiotic bamboo for pandas may sound futuristic, but for two groups of local students, both are goals for the future.
Two Kansas groups — a team of fifth-graders from Rosehill Elementary School in Lenexa in Shawnee Mission and a team of third-graders from Cedar Hills Elementary in Overland Park in the Blue Valley district — have received an honorable mention in the national ExploraVision competition for projects based on these ideas.
The competition, sponsored by Toshiba and the National Science Teachers Association, encourages students to find a problem and develop a scientific solution that might be possible 20 years from now.
Approximately 5,050 teams competed nationwide this year, and only 10 percent received the honorable mention designation.
Rosehill’s Laine Bartel, Nicole Gilliford, Geesha Jayasuriya and Courtney Setty, all 11 years old, decided to tackle the shortage of human livers available for transplant.
“When we looked up liver transplants, we found that there are a couple thousand people that are signed up for that and that a lot of people die from not getting a match every year,” Laine said.
The school recently got a 3-D printer, and the students started to think about how that could connect with the problem they chose. To do this, they researched both the history of liver transplants and the history of 3-D printers.
Read more here.