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Ashton Cofer: A Young Innovator

Ashton Cofer is an exemplar of the saying, “Age is just a number.” Born and raised in the United States, Ashton was a regular child with an extraordinary curiosity. His early schooling played a crucial role in nurturing his interest in science and technology.

Introduction to Science and Engineering

From a young age, Ashton was drawn towards the world of science and engineering. He was always fascinated by how things worked and loved exploring and experimenting with new ideas.

The Inspiration for Change

The defining moment came when Ashton saw the severe impact of non-recyclable waste, particularly Styrofoam. He was taken aback by the magnitude of the environmental problem and decided to do something about it.

The Science Fair Journey

  1. Conceptualizing the Idea: With a team of equally motivated friends, Ashton started brainstorming for the Google Science Fair. The group sought to find a solution to the growing Styrofoam waste issue, which was threatening our environment.
  2. The Experiment and Its Success: After numerous attempts, they discovered a method to convert Styrofoam waste into activated carbon, a useful substance with various applications. Their project won accolades at various science fairs.
  3. Winning the Google Science Fair: Their innovative project made its mark globally when they won the prestigious Google Science Fair in 2016. This win opened new avenues for Ashton and his team and garnered international attention.

The Impact of His Work

  1. Global Influence: The project is a remarkable example of how innovation can come from anywhere and anyone. It inspired young minds across the globe to think creatively about solving pressing environmental issues.
  2. Personal Gains: For Ashton, the journey was not only about global recognition but also personal growth. He learned invaluable lessons about teamwork, perseverance, and the importance of scientific research in problem-solving.
  3. TED Talk Fame: Post his Google Science Fair success, Ashton Cofer delivered a TED Talk, sharing his journey and the importance of thinking big. His speech resonated with many and motivated young scientists worldwide.
  4. Ashton’s Life Today: Today, Ashton continues to inspire and motivate young minds. He is often invited to speak at various forums, sharing his journey and insights about innovation and environmental conservation.

Lessons from Ashton’s Journey

Lessons from Ashton's Journey
  1. Importance of Youth Innovation: Ashton’s story is a testament to the impact that young innovators can have on the world. It proves that age is not a barrier when it comes to making a significant difference.
  2. Encouragement for Aspiring Scientists: Ashton’s journey also offers encouragement to young scientists. It sends a strong message about the power of perseverance, curiosity, and innovative thinking.


Ashton Cofer’s journey from a curious child to a global innovator is an inspiration for all. His dedication to solving an environmental issue and his success underscore the importance of innovation and scientific curiosity. Ashton’s story reminds us that it’s never too early to make a difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Ashton Cofer’s project at the Google Science Fair?

Ashton Cofer, along with his team, developed a way to convert Styrofoam waste into activated carbon at the Google Science Fair.

What awards has Ashton Cofer won?

Ashton Cofer’s major achievement includes winning the Google Science Fair in 2016.

What was the subject of Ashton Cofer’s TED Talk?

In his TED Talk, Ashton discussed his journey, the project, and the importance of youth innovation.

What does Ashton Cofer do now?

Ashton Cofer is a speaker and advocate for science, technology, and environmental conservation.

What lessons can we learn from Ashton Cofer’s journey?

Ashton’s journey teaches the importance of innovation, scientific curiosity, perseverance, and the power of young minds in effecting change.

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