Editor's note: We're celebrating this year's impressive 20 Google Science Fair finalist projects over 20 days in our Spotlight on a Young Scientist series. Learn more about each of these inspiring young people and hear what inspires them in their own words.






Name: Wei-Tung, Chen (韋同 陳)

Home: Taipei City, Taiwan

Age Category: 16-18

Project title: Calculating the 3D position of an object from a single source




Weitung’s regular attendance at summer science camps has helped foster his love for inventing. He also recently found an interest in physics and calculating the position of objects using new methods. His project aims to accurately calculate the 3D position of an object using only one source  rather than the multiple sources we rely on today. This system, with a little more development, could have expansive use in areas ranging from wearable computing to location-based applications, where an instant and accurate indoor 3D positioning system is in high demand.

What was the inspiration behind your project? 

At first, I was interested in quad copters, and I did brief research on them. At that time, I saw a TED lecture about quad copters astonishing athletes. The lecturer said that the quad copters require a precise indoor positioning system to provide the positioning of the quads and navigate them. This inspired me to explore an indoor positioning system. I studied this topic in depth and began building up a magnetic positioning system. I met with my teacher numerous times and finally found a solution to achieve a precise indoor positioning system using only a source for referencing.

When and why did you become interested in science? 

When I was in grade 7, I entered the advanced math and science class, but that's not the reason why I became interested in science. After joining this class, I had a lot of opportunities to attend lectures and activities about science. The most inspirational lecture was the "Creativity, Innovation, and Design" class. This class was held every Sunday during the whole semester. I not only learned how to be innovative and creative and help solve problems in everyday life, but also to acknowledge the importance of teamwork, from coming up with ideas through brainstorming together to executing on the idea and building something together. I learned so much about design and invention during this time and became more enthusiastic about science and creating things using scientific knowledge. 

What words of advice would you share with other young scientists? 

Use your scientific abilities to help make the world better. No matter how small that the problem is, try to find a way to solve it. Be creative. You may find treasures throughout the process of finding solutions.