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Melting Electronics

Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award winner John Rogers discusses the future of biosensors—bendy, rubber-band like electronics that can melt in your body.


Conversation Club

  1. John Rogers describes a “Eureka moment” in his video. What do you think he means by that? Can you describe something that feels like a “Eureka moment” in your life?
  2. Rogers talks about the ninety-nine ideas that follow the first great idea. This puts the emphasis for success on hard work. Where have you seen hard work lead to success?
  3. Rogers describes his work designing “transient electronics.” Had you ever heard that term before? What else might be described as “transient” (e.g. people, weather)?
  4. In the video, Rogers describes traditional electronics and holds up a “silicon wafer” that looks like a DVD. When was the first time you saw this type of technology?
  5. Rogers gives examples where transient electronics could be used. What are those examples? Which one do you find most surprising or interesting? Can you think of others?
  6. Rogers also talks about the environmental benefits to his technology, and mentions recycling of personal hardware devices, like cellphones. How long do you keep your cellphone? What do you currently do with your cellphone after you get a replacement? Do you think that what he proposes might be useful?
  7. Rogers mentions that his son has good ideas and that he has even cited his son in a paper he wrote. What are examples of a time when you contributed your ideas, or when someone unexpected gave you good ideas that helped you?
  8. Rogers ends his video by giving a definition for the word “ingenuity.” In that definition he suggests that something new needs to have societal value. What do you think that means? Using that definition, can you think of other examples of ingenuity? What is your own definition of ingenuity?

Video Series

This video exists as part of a series gathered around the theme of Entrepreneurship. Other videos in this series are listed below.

Alexis Lewis’s Innovation Mission
Alexis Lewis’s Innovation Mission
3-D Printing for the Body
3-D Printing for the Body
Palmer Lucky’s Virtual Reality Revolution
Palmer Lucky’s Virtual Reality Revolution
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Melting Electronics
Melting Electronics
Project Loon
Project Loon
Elon Musk’s Journey to Mars
Elon Musk’s Journey to Mars