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Innovators of Tomorrow Contest Winner

By Jacob Maciel, marketing and communications intern
Nano Goldman ’22 competes in the Scholastic Innovators of Tomorrow contest.
Nano Goldman ’22 was selected as a winner of the Innovators of Tomorrow contest sponsored by Scholastic. The contest challenges students to conceptualize, describe and diagram a new invention that solves a problem using advanced manufacturing. 

Nano created a new way to reinforce concrete by using a triangular, carbon-fiber mesh in place of conventional steel rebar. Carbon-fiber is stronger than steel, rust-resistant and provides strength to concrete to maintain stability while leaving a small carbon footprint over time. Nano took advantage of the freedom and flexibility of the contest guidelines to further explore his interests with carbon fiber to create an invention that solves a real-world problem. 

With the knowledge that carbon fiber is strong and lightweight, he incorporated these two characteristics into his invention. Through his research, Nano found that concrete walls lack strength, so he placed carbon fiber sheets in the shape of triangles inside the walls to provide additional support. The carbon fiber panels could make the walls thinner and lighter, reducing the cost of manufacturing and shipping. Creating prefabricated, concrete panels that are easy to transport provides an opportunity for various types of creative applications, such as use in natural disaster zones to rebuild stronger and safer structures. 

Once Nano began working on the carbon fiber paneling idea, the invention came into fruition with support from Director of Design & Innovation Dan Lenzen. In preparation for the contest, Mr. Lenzen observed Nano leveraging his understanding of design requirements, balancing how to “raise the stakes,” and applying ideas to impactful situations. 

Since Nano joined the Innovation Lab team in Middle School, Mr. Lenzen shares that the extra time and effort Nano puts into his work has accumulated over the years and his win is a result of his diligent work ethic. “I am most proud that he is rewarded for putting in that extra bit of work on each sketch, each model, and each presentation over the past three and a half years. He did all of this while excelling in other classes and meeting his responsibilities as a Design & Innovation fellow,” says Mr. Lenzen.

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