Georgia Hutchinson

Codette, Woodside Elementary School, Woodside, California

Georgia Hutchinson is an 8th grade student from Woodside, California, who designed and created a data-driven dual-axis solar tracker. Rather than using pricey sensors as solar panel trackers, Georgia utilized an equation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use a location data to determine where the sun will be in the sky at any given time. With the NOAA equation and some additional math, Georgia built a computer model to show how electricity from solar panels programmed to track the sun, would compare to electricity produced by fixed-position panels. She then wrote a computer program to control her tracker’s motor and the position of the solar panels. After putting everything together, Georgia tested the device and compared it to the output from fixed panels on two days in early 2018. The results were within eight percent of her model’s predictions. Based on her research, she found that over a year’s time, the movable panels would produce a lot more electricity than fixed position panels. In October 2018, Georgia was selected as one of thirty middle school students to participate as finalists in the national Broadcom MASTERS science and engineering competition in Washington, DC. After sharing her project with the judges and competing in two days of group challenges, Georgia was awarded the prestigious Samueli Foundation Award.

Georgia is passionate about computer science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and is driven to engage more students, particularly girls, in coding, science and engineering. She previously founded a club called Codettes, to inspire more girls to get involved in computer science. Today, Georgia is an advocate for STEM Education for all, and shares her love of STEM with students from under-served schools and communities. In addition to research and innovation, Georgia loves the ocean, surfing, water polo, volleyball, as well as singing and playing French horn and clarinet.


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