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Maryland teen gets patent on medical device

Jack Andraka, 15, of Crownsville, Md., has patented a new way to detect pancreatic cancer. (Courtesy Twitter/@jakandraka)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley likes to brag about the No. 1 rating his state’s schools have gotten from Education Week for five years in a row.

He also likes to brag about the accomplishments of children educated in them.

So, in his State of the State address on Wednesday, O’Malley put the spotlight on one very special student.

The governor introduced the North County High School student as an inventor, an entrepreneur and a very persistent young man who approached 199 colleges and universities before one finally granted him space to work on a project.

That project resulted in a patent.

Before introducing 15-year-old Jack Andraka, O’Malley quipped, “Buy stock in this guy!”

Andraka, of Crownsville, not only won the 2012 Intel Science Fair, but he also holds the patent on a method to detect pancreatic cancer.

Andraka says smiling, “I really love doing science, because it’s creativity and finding elegant solutions.”

What’s unusual about Andraka isn’t just his youth and talent, but the way he arrived at what he calls that “elegant solution.”

“Essentially all I did was use Google and Wikipedia outside of school and connected stuff that I was learning in school and I came up with all these ideas about pancreatic cancer — and I just ran with that.”

Andraka has some thoughts about his future that may add to the pride his home state has in him.

“I really like Johns Hopkins because that’s actually where I did the research for my project, but I also like the University of Maryland at College Park.”

Listen to Andraka talk about his project:

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this story. Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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