I submitted my project to the NASA Poop Challenge. The system is designed to transfer and store stool, urine, and menses in one system. Solid stool is converted to liquid or semi-liquid stool by taking MiraLax (a safe and commonly used stool softener) by mouth. Adaptation of commercially available rectal Flexi-Seal (for patients with fecal incontinence) is inserted and sealed in the rectum, which prevents skin contact with stool. The liquid stool is transferred to storage via low powered suction system to collection. The system effectively contains and diverts fecal output, protects skin from fecal contamination, and reduces the risk of skin breakdown and infection.
My childhood constipation experience inspired my innovation. My innovation is important because it protects the health and safety of astronauts and has made a inspiring impact on my education.
The pain that I had endured during my early childhood experiences with chronic constipation motivated me to help others, namely astronauts in spacesuits encountering similar issues. I hope to turn my childhood nightmare into a dream solution to help NASA to solve a peculiar yet crucial problem. In addition, I have had periodic exposure to a related field (gastroenterology) through observing my father carry out his work, in which I had garnered interest in. His knowledge of the digestive track and digestive devices and supplements aided my design process.
My chronic childhood constipation is not one of the most popular topics in any common social interaction. However, it is an extremely common problem among children, causing millions to suffer a great deal of physical pain, emotional stress, and social embarrassment. And, as I have personal experience with such an issue, I can make an emotional bond with the solution of the issue and those who experience it. I believe that the unique circumstances of the challenge as well as my being able to relate to it brings my story to another level compared to those with generic or unoriginal goals and little emotional connection.
I am a freshman in high school and have always been very interested in biological science and engineering. Researching, evaluating various ideas, and brainstorming designs and solutions has been an excellent learning experience that I have never encountered throughout my high school studies. Despite this being a small, rudimentary step in the scientific career ahead of me, I believe that it will be a substantial leap forward in my campaign to one day be able to wear a NASA engineer badge to work. Outside of my interest field of biological science, I also enjoy learning about geography and mathematics. I run cross-country and play tennis for my school team.