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Scientific American, August 6, 2014
American teen invents a wearable sensor and wins the $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action Award

Kenneth Shinozuka, 15, from New York, is winner of the third annual Scientific American Science in Action Award, powered by the Google Science Fair. Shinozuka developed his project, Wearable Sensors: A Novel Healthcare Solution for the Aging Society, to help in the care of his grandfather, who is afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.

“My device represents one of the first wearable sensors in the world that reliably detects patients' wandering out of bed and wirelessly alerts their caregivers through their smartphones,” said Shinozuka. “I will never forget how deeply moved my entire family was when they first witnessed my sensor detecting Grandfather’s wandering. At that moment, I was struck by the power of technology to change lives. I am now even more motivated to pursue my passion for technological innovations that solve health-care problems facing our increasingly aging society.”

In addition to the $50,000 prize, Shinozuka, will have access to a year's mentorship and is invited to Google's California headquarters in September to compete in the 15-to-16-year-old age category in the overall Google Science Fair. There, he will present his project to an international panel of finalist judges, including science luminaries and technology innovators. He will compete for prizes that include $100,000 in scholarship funds. The winners of the 2014 Google Science Fair will be announced at a gala on September 22, which will be streamed live on the fair's YouTube channel.

Scientific American's independent judging panel elected Shinozuka from a pool of 15 Scientific American Science in Action Award finalists, who were culled from thousands of Google Science Fair submissions from more than 90 countries. “The Scientific American Science in Action Award honors a project that can make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge,” said Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina. “Shinozuka’s wearable sensor is a great example of how the ideas of inspiring kid scientists can change the world.”

Scientific American has been a partner with the Google Science Fair, an annual international online competition, since it launched in 2011. The other partners of the Google Science Fair are LEGO Education, National Geographic and Virgin Galactic. In 2012, the inaugural Scientific American Science in Action winner was the Unique Simplified Hydroponic Method, developed by then-14-year-olds Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela of Swaziland. In 2013, Elif Bilgin, then 16, of Turkey, won for her project, Going Bananas! Using Banana Peels in the Production of Bio-Plastic as a Replacement for Traditional Petroleum-Based Plastic



For more information about the Google Science Fair and Scientific American’s Science in Action Award, please visit:


Scientific American Science in Action Award landing page:
Google Science Fair 2014:
Google Science Fair’s YouTube channel:

About Scientific American

Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science and technology in the general media. Together with and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches more than nine million readers. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany. Scientific American is published by Springer Nature, a leading global research, educational and professional publisher, home to an array of respected and trusted brands providing quality content through a range of innovative products and services. Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media.

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