A Safer World

Two Carlsbad students won an honorable mention for their project at the ProjectCSGIRLS National Gala this summer. The ProjectCSGIRLS competition challenges participants in sixth to eighth grade to build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem under one of three themes: global health, a safer world, and intelligent technology. Pajaka Lakshmin and Aiko Lozar created a potential solution to the problem of terrorist explosions in densely populated areas with their Explosive Sensing Paint (ESP). “When we hear about these terrorist events, we think about the lives of the people who were impacted and also about our personal safety when we travel either long distance or locally,” the girls said.


ESP theoretically works to predict and prevent a possible terrorist attack by detecting and identifying chemical explosives in densely populated buildings, such as airports, malls, and train stations. ESP is a nanopaint, or coating, comprised of chemical nanosensor arrays made up of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, which are designed to interact with and detect ambient gas/vapor molecules coming from different explosives. A secondary device would wirelessly transmit the sensor signal data remotely to a computer program, which analyzes and interprets the data to determine the identity of the chemical using a database of pre-determined conductance values of chemicals found in explosives, prompting a rapid response and evacuation if necessary. ESP can also be used to detect drugs, biological weapons, smoke, carbon monoxide, and other environmental toxins and pollutants.

ProjectCSGIRLS is a nonprofit organization aimed to cultivate a love for technology and computer science in girls and encourage them to pursue their interests and careers in these fields. Learn more at www.projectcsgirls.com.