When you were 17 years old, what was on your mind when asked how you were going to change the world and make it a better place to live? I am not quite sure how constructive my answer was back then, but Marian Betchel surely has a heart for humanity, where this 17-year old inventor came up with a land mine detector that was specially inspired by a piano. Yes, just how does one reconcile a musical instrument with a land mine detector, I am not quite sure, so read on and see how she came about this idea. This prototype device of hers will definitely be far more affordable than current technology, relying on sound waves to make an accurate guess of where the devices are. Merge that with sensitive microphones and a seismic vibrator that is hooked up to a standard metal detector, and you are good to go.

According to Bechtel, “My parents are both geologists,” she says. “Years ago they got connected with an international group of scientists working on a project called RASCAN, developing a holographic radar device for detecting land mines. During the summer before 8th grade, I met all of these scientists and talked with them about their work and the land mine issue. I was really touched and inspired by what they had to say, and wanted to get involved in science and possibly land mine detection.” Hopefully her device will be made available to areas where there are plenty of land mines left over from previous wars so that lives need not be unnecessarily snuffed out.

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