Georgian Innovators at NASA

The winners of the Millennium Innovations Award, Ani (15), Nini and Tamar (17), are particularly fond of technical subjects and desire to thoroughly explore the world through the study of mathematics and physics.

Ani Tetrashvili, Nini Khundzakishvili and Tamar Mikeladze created the “Lab Tech Robot” in order to participate in the Millennium Innovations Award. After winning first place, the team traveled to the US and participated in a study program of the NASA Space Center University at the Space Center in Houston. Past winning teams have taken part in study programs at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and Johnson Space Center, Texas.

Ani says she has always dreamed of visiting the US. “This dream became a reality when we took part in the Millennium Innovations Award and came first place. Attending the NASA Space Center study program was not only a dream for us three girls from Georgia: it was a lifelong goal.”

Nini feels just as enthusiastic. “My dad used to tell me that someday he would show me the US and I’ve always been curious about it. I knew it was a huge and fascinating country. I also knew there were some great universities and research laboratories there. After winning first place in the Millennium Innovations Award and travelling to the US, I am now convinced it is a country full of opportunities to advance one’s knowledge.”

The invention that allowed the girls to win first place in the Millennium Innovations Award and visit the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas, is called Lab Tech Robot and unifies four robots.

“The first robot works on hydrostatics and can measure the mass of an object,” Tamar explains. “The second robot can assist in calculating the speed of sound, the third draws electrical schematics, and the fourth robot allows one to explore the given schematics.” She adds that the robots can assist students to carry out experiments in the comfort of their own homes.

The young innovators took part in a one-week study program at the NASA Houston Space Center University, during which they had a unique opportunity to visit training bases, Space Parks, and various museums and exhibitions. The girls also participated in underwater trainings for cosmonauts.

After the study program, the young innovators plan to work on other interesting projects and innovations, and state that they would like to share their experiences with their peers.

The Millennium Challenge Account Georgia has been implementing the Millennium Innovations Award since 2014 with the financial support of the US Embassy. The project aims to encourage innovative thinking among young people as well as project implementation in STEM fields, which in and of itself contributes to technological advances within the country.

The Millennium Challenge Account-Georgia has so far implemented $140 million of investment at all stages of education; secondary, vocational and higher education through Compact II. Compact II seeks to develop human capital in prioritized fields, such as science, engineering, technologies and math (STEM), agriculture and tourism.

By Maiko Chitashvili

19 July 2018 19:32