All summer we've been exploring innovation and invention: Where do big ideas come from? We've asked big-cheese scientists and engineers how they come up with game-changing concepts — and we asked you to come up with your own big ideas, for our "Joe's Big Idea" video contest.
People aged 13 to 25 from around the country sent us videos explaining what they'd like to do to change the world for the better. Ideas ranged from cleaning up rivers with algae and harnessing cellphones to do medical tests to making everyday life better. After all, who wouldn't want an easier commute?
You selected your favorite big ideas from our talented pool of contestants by voting with YouTube "likes." After tallying all of those votes, we're thrilled to announce our 10 semifinalists. Take a look and let us know in the comments section which ideas you think will change the world:
Plane That Runs On Air — Izador Lera and Anthony Ordaz
Universal People, Object and Animal Finder Using Bandwidth And Other Electronic Frequency Waves — Diallo Burke
Glacial Water Transport — Alexandra Villarreal, Rylee Tribble, and Karissa Vail
Commercial Airplane Failsafe Multi-Parachute Deployment System — Alejandro Ibarra Alvarez
Reclaiming Phosphorus From Rivers With Algae — Matan Kaminski and Ari Colton
3-D Analysis Of The Electrocardiogram For Improved Accuracy Of Athlete Screenings — Kevin Lee
The Future Commute — Benjamin Scheiner and Paul Morana
Virtual 3-D Model For Surgical Simulation — Matthew Miller
Design And Evaluation Of A Cell Phone Compatible Electrocardiograph Summary — Catherine Wong
Augmented Reality Interface For Spatial Anatomical Education — Nishant Jain
A panel of judges at the NPR science desk will vote on a grand-prize winner. We'll announce the champion innovator here on our website and through social media the first week in September.
Then NPR science correspondent Joe Palca will share the winner's idea with a leader in science and technology to see if there's a way to make that person's idea a reality. Stay tuned!