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Springfield Student Competes in National Science Fair

Intel Science Fair

A Springfield student is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania competing at the world’s largest high school science research competition.  KSMU’s Michele Skalicky talked with him by phone.

Noah Kahn earned one of the grand prizes at the Ozarks Engineering Fair this spring.  That earned him a spot in the Intel International Science Fair in Pittsburgh.  Kahn, who just graduated from Glendale High School, built a point to point laser communication system.

"And that can transfer any type of digital data, but I've written software that allows users to chat with each other using text messages."

His "Laser Chat" uses lasers as transmitters and pin diodes as receivers, allowing two people to quickly set up a communication link. 

Kahn says he’s always liked chat programs, so when his mentor, Glendale science teacher, Fred Fotsch, encouraged him to enter the contest, he knew what he wanted to do.

"I'd been playing around with the Arduino microcontrollers, and I wanted to send text messages around my classroom," he said.

Kahn competed this morning.  He has to wait until finals tomorrow morning to find out how he did.  The grand prize is $75,000.  Kahn says, if he wins, he’ll use the money to pay for college.  He’ll attend the Missouri University of Science and Technology in the fall and plans to study computer science. 

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.