“Young people using STEM to create a better and more sustainable future.” – YOUTH STEM MATTERS

At the young age of seven years old, Macinley Butson in Wollongong, Australia, began her journey of becoming an inventor. Being a curious child at that age and always asking questions, Macinley started creating numerous projects in her backyard to explore her interests.

Macinley’s first invention: Rotating polarized lens

Several years later, Macinley Butson became the first Australian to win 1st place at the 2017 INTEL ISEF [International Science and Engineering Fair] in the entire world at the age of 16 years old. ISEF is the largest pre-college scientific research fair that is considered to be highly recognized around the world.

Along with her other achievements, Macinley started to compete in the BHP Foundation of Science and Engineering Awards. Over her years in school, she’s been a finalist for this competition a total of six times. Macinley also won the top prize for the Innovator to Market category, as well as the prize for the Investigations category in the 2019 finals.

Over the years, Butson’s numerous accomplishments and innovative ideas have made her known by many other young Australians, and girls around the world who aspire to be in the STEM field. Since then, Macinley has begun to share her story.

Working with many different companies such as Lenovo, Nintendo, YouTube, and several more, Macinley has been using these platforms to educate and inspire young people to be involved in STEM. She has become a speaker for many different schools for students and corporate audiences.

One of her popular speeches occurred at TedxYouth in Sydney, 2017. At 16 years old, Macinley speaks about her acclaimed inventions and what was inspired behind their creations. One of these inventions is what she is currently working on today, called the SMART system.

TedxYouth@Sydney 2017

In an interview with Macinley, she states that she began the SMART system project when she was in year 10 of high school. In this project, the SMART system consists of two devices that work together to reduce excess dosage of radiotherapy delivered to the body during cancer treatment.

“My invention has aimed to aid the treatment of cancer but I would love to see the day where it is no longer needed because we have found a cure.”

Macliney Butson

Macinley also refers to this radiation protection as smart armor, which stands for scale maille armor for radiation. Along with this project, the second smart system device Macliney is working on is a SODIS sticker, or known as solar disinfection.

The SODIS sticker will measure the levels of UV that is used in water sanitation process to determine whether the result will be biologically safe for drinking. This ultraviolet radiation sticker will be very effective in sanitizing drinking water.

Stephanie Quick Youth of STEM