If Forbes 30 under 30 list wasn’t interesting enough, they made it even more interesting by listing a 17 year old as one of the successes.
A 17-year-old inventor from Texas, Javier FernÃ¡ndez-Han, the son of immigrants from China and Mexico, was named one of “Forbes’ 30 under 30” this year, for his inventive use of algae to digest sewage and capture methane for use as fuel. The young scientist’s success comes as many worry that America is losing it’s competitive edge in math and science.
At only 14 years old, FernÃ¡ndez-Han founded an organization called “Inventors without Borders” with aims to “bring innovative solutions to real-world problems in rural, poverty-stricken areas,” according to a report by NBC Latino. And as many bemoan the loss of America’s innovative edge with the decline of quality math and science education in schools, FernÃ¡ndez-Han is recognized as one of the nation’s top high school inventors by Popular Science magazine for the second year in a row.
Javier’s father, Peter Han, attributes his son’s success in part to the emphasis as parents Han and his wife placed on creativity and innovation. Javier’s father is the owner of a creative learning company, and has even given a TED talk on the value of innovation in raising children. The father and son duo are even co-developing “a series of toolkits and learning programs to invent better ideas faster”, according to the TED YouTube channel.