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May 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Class of 2017: Broken iPod Inspired High School Senior’s Research

Isabella Sparhawk ’17 will know her way around a lab when she arrives at Ohio University’s College of Arts & Sciences in the fall. She’s been working in a corporate chemistry lab her senior year of high school. She filed a patent application for an antimicrobial coating using silvernano particles to prevent the spread of germs on touch-screen devices—like the broken iPod that inspired her research.

Sparhawk told the Akron West Side Leader’s Kathleen Folkerth she plans to attend Ohio University in the fall as a pre-medicine major.

WEST AKRON — When the cover of her iPod shattered, Isabella Sparhawk was inspired.

The St. Vincent-St. Mary (STVM) High School senior, a West Akron resident, channeled her disappointment into resolve. As part of a school science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program, she set about exploring the creation of a shatter-resistant coating for personal electronic devices.

This year she took it a step further and worked to develop an antimicrobial coating to prevent the spread of germs on touch-screen devices for her science project. Her project led her to earn the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Grand Prize at the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair in March.

The designation means she’s heading to the Intel ISEF in Phoenix May 12-17 for an all-expenses-paid trip where she has the chance to come home with the top $75,000 prize. The fair is the world’s largest international precollege science competition, with 1,500 students from 70 countries who will compete for a total of $3 million….

Since developing her solution, which uses silvernano particles, she has applied for a patent. Venarge said if that comes through, the potential for the product is high.

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