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Science Fair winner tackles Blind Spots

Fourteen year-old student Alaina Gassler, from West Grove, Pa., won a national engineering and science fair by designing technology to see around blind spots.

The Broadcom MASTERS, or Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars, is an annual competition from the nonprofit Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public.

The $25,000 prize was awarded for Gassler’s use of webcams and reflectors to project live footage of what is blinded by the vehicle’s frame onto the A-pillars. The cameras are mounted outside of the car, and the projecter is inside on the car’s roof. The reflective fabric brightens the projected image so that only the driver can see it.

Gassler’s project, which beat 29 other middle school finalists chosen from other 2,348 nationwide projects, was inspired by her grandmother swiping a pole she didn’t see when it was in her vehicle’s blind spot.

While new vehicles use rear and side cameras to see around many blind spots, the space blocked by the pillars that support the windshield is still obstructed, Gassler’s idea was to make them invisible.

While her winning project was conceived and designed while she was in 8th grade, she plans to use the prize money to build her next idea, which will use LDC screens to fit the curve of the car better and allow image to be brighter and clearer in any weather.

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You are here: Home News In Brief Science Fair winner tackles Blind Spots