The only thing necessary for the triumph of noisy drinking straws is for good men to do nothing. Thankfully, Kotaro Takahashi is taking action, and Kyoto University has his back.
For the second year running, Kyoto University is holding its Student Projects for the Enhancement of Creativity (SPEC) contest. In SPEC, students take up science-oriented challenges with the financial and academic support of the university.
The six applicants (out of 26) selected for this year’s SPEC include Tatsunori Ikejiri and his goal of establishing a global medical study tour for doctors and Tomohiro Nobeyama’s plan to perform surgeries at a cellular level using “nano-explosives.”
But Kotaru Takahashi’s “Silence Straw” initiative has truly sent gravitational waves throughout the science and engineering communities.
The 18-year-old freshman postulates that by reducing the amount of left-over liquid from a drink, one can significantly cut the noise created when sucking it up. Through weekly consultations with the greatest minds Kyoto University has to offer, Takahashi has already developed prototype straws with inner surfaces that have greatly reduced those annoying noises.
More work still needs to be done to address complications such as “hard sucking.” Luckily, to do this Takahashi will get the support of Kyoto University and their generous donors. If enough money is raised through the university by 15 March, he will receive a maximum grant of 500,000 yen (US$4,400) to fund further research.
With the funding, Takahashi hopes to get more sophisticated sound detection equipment and cameras capable of precisely analyzing the inner-surfaces of his straw prototypes in action.
He is so close, but without the proper support noiseless straws will remain a dream to humanity. So, if you have the means please donate to Kyoto University’s SPEC contest and together we can rid the world of this…