Steven Udotong is a 17 year old Nigerian teenager who has successfully built a nuclear energy fusor, which has made him the first black student to break such a record. A fusor is a device that uses an electric field to heat ions to suitable condition for nuclear fusion. An electric potential difference is generated between two metallic cages inside a vacuum by the machine. A high school junior residing in Southern New Jersey, Udotong spoke about his optimism, in an interview he granted to blavity.com, that his invention would be an inspiration for a cleaner, greener future for everyone that is environmentally friendly. Raising 1,500 for supplies through a GoFundMe account he created in just one month, enabled him achieve this feat.
He revealed: “I grew curious after we flew by the topic of nuclear energy in my chemistry class last year. I decided to do more research and I soon learned that I could actually make a nuclear fusor.“That sparked my interest. I want people to know that there are alternate methods for obtaining power and energy. “I want to examine more clean energy products and stop the fear of the word “nuclear,” Steven shared in an interview on The Well, Jopwell’s Digital Magazine, with his older brother, Emmanuel, a computer science student at Princeton University. “Nuclear energy is a lot safer than people think,” he added. Just last summer, Steven was accepted into Yale Young Global Scholar Programme, which allowed him to pursue the engineering workshop at the Singapore campus. He was one of three students from New Jersey to attend the workshop.
He said he realised he could be the first black student to build a nuclear reactor. He added that “I was motivated because I knew that there were many other ways for minorities to pursue success. Sports and music were not the only avenues for us. “There’s room for us. There’s a need for us to participate in academia, business, art, law, medicine, and yes, nuclear energy. “I hope this project will become an example of academic excellence as vehicle of accomplishment for black students.” Among his plans, is to source for scholarship opportunities by entering his invention, with its first phase completed, into science fairs and competitions.
According to him, he hopes through this invention, discussions can commence at the state and federal levels on ways to carry out serious action in creating different sources of energy.
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