Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

  1. Tech

    Plastic that mimics insect wings kills bacteria

    A new ‘antibiotic’ plastic uses nanotechnology to mimic the hairs on insect wings. Then ouch! Bacterial cells that land on it end up stabbing themselves to death.

  2. Tech

    Ouchless measles vaccine could save lives

    A new ‘ouchless’ vaccine patch that uses dissolving microneedles could make efforts to vaccinate against measles more practical.

  3. Microbes

    Powered by poop and pee?

    Scientists are developing methods to not only remove human waste from wastewater, but also to harness the energy hidden within it.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Cool Jobs: Researchers on the run

    Researchers are taking running to extremes, from Olympic lizards to treadmills in space. The goal is to learn how athletes of all kinds can stay healthier.

  5. Tech

    How to print shape shifters

    3-D printing was only the beginning. Scientists are pursuing 4-D printing, creating objects that can move and interact with their surroundings.

  6. Environment

    Insecticide can change a spider’s personality

    A chemical meant to kill moths affects the behavior of some spiders. It alters the spiders’ ability to capture prey — including those moths.

  7. Brain

    To protect kids, get the lead out!

    Lead poisons hundreds of thousands of children. In Chicago, experts show how the toxic metal hurts test performance in school.

  8. Tech

    This battery stretches without losing oomph

    Engineers have made a durable lithium-ion battery that can stretch to 150 percent of its original length. One day it could power wearable electronics.

  9. Tech

    This door handle kills germs

    A high-tech door handle may cut down on disease transmission, say its teen developers. The system is powered by simply opening and closing the door.

  10. Space

    Collecting trash in space

    Space junk threatens satellites that cost millions of dollars. But one teen has come up with an idea to collect and dispose of that orbiting trash.

  11. Materials Science

    Keeping roofs cooler to cut energy costs

    Cool it! A cheap paint-on coating for roofing shingles could help reduce a home’s heating bills and might even trim urban ozone levels, a teen shows.

  12. Tech

    Teens want to make windshield wipers obsolete

    Windshield wipers often can’t keep up with the rain. High-intensity air sprays might one day take their place, according to research by two teens.