Teen Prodigy of Pancreatic Cancer, Inventor, Innovator & Citizen Scientist
Jack Andraka is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer who speaks to audiences of youths and adults all across the globe about his personal story, research, and his ideas for STEM education reform and fostering innovation and creativity. His journey began at age fifteen when, after losing a close family friend to pancreatic cancer, he invented an inexpensive early detection method for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer that costs 3 cents and takes 5 minutes to run. Now studying electrical engineering and anthropology at Stanford (Class of 2020), Andraka conducts research on nanorobots, inexpensive biosensors, disease diagnostics, and global health interventions while serving as faculty at the Stanford Anesthesiology Summer Institute. Outside of research, Jack has worked on combining anthropology, engineering, and big data to address pressing global health challenges, particularly in the monitoring of environmental contaminants and disease outbreaks. Read More >
In this talk, Jack discusses the need for a reworking of our K-12 curriculum to prepare students for the data age, where every field from social justice to electrical engineering has been revolutionized by big data. He breaks down the story, history, and basic science of big data and discusses how to integrate the tools and strategy of data science into curriculums nationwide. By demystifying what data science is and how to use it, Jack sets out a bold vision where every student is data literate and is empowered to take charge of our increasingly data-drive world.
Jack discusses a new paradigm of health, one where patients and healthcare providers collaborate to create a health experience tailored to the patient’s needs. He brings together the latest, cutting-edge research with his own experience and work to detail how to pioneer this new patient-doctor relationship through a diverse collection of stories and lessons learned from Ebola, the U.S. healthcare system, and global health interventions. Jack also discusses how new technologies such as 3D printing, real-time genetic sequencing, and molecular diagnostics will factor into this holistic version of health and how to use these technologies to personalize a patient’s health experience.
An electrical engineer and anthropologist, Jack discusses the need for the humanities in STEM fields and how these unlikely collaborations can yield results that change the world. From obtaining a better understanding of the consumer to predicting and preventing misuse of technology, Jack discusses how the qualitative insights of the humanities can be married with cutting-edge science and engineering to create breakthrough in fields from biomedicine to big data.
In this talk, Jack tells his own unlikely story of how he – a high school student who didn’t know what a pancreas was- created a new way to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer for 3 cents in 5 minutes. He then discusses his current work as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer working on issues ranging from crowdsourcing environmental monitoring in Tanzania to investigating the causes of the Ebola epidemic. Jack then reveals how anyone can become an explorer and learn how to change the world around through passion and perseverance.
"He did an eight-minute presentation on the research he’d done and what he discovered,” Spurlock says, “and after I watched that I was like, ‘This guy is fantastic. I need to make a film about him.’”
"Jack's presentation to the Best in Nation App Challenge winning teams was a great addition to the evening's agenda. It was obvious by the complete attention the teens in the audience gave Jack during his talk and their excitement about meeting him in person and having their picture taken later with this new celebrity, that his experiences amazed and delighted them. He told his story with humor and detail that opened the audience's eyes to what can be achieved when someone so young believes anything is possible. We would be happy to invite Jack to present again in the future."
“You were a hit! But then, you know that.And I especially appreciate your easy-to-please, positive attitude and great spirit through the whole weekend.You stimulated many conversations, and great respect. You also certainly won the support of faculty and students with your discussion of Open Access to Journals and Scholarly Papers. They knew the problem, you created awareness and energized them to support it.”
“Now that I have interviewed Jack for a magazine article, introduced him to over 3,000 people at a conference, read his book, and followed his work over the past year, I feel that I know Jack. What a remarkable, giving, and delightful young man who is dedicated to ‘paying it forward’ in life.”
“Jack did a great job. Our members have talking about him all day!”
“Jack is an energetic, charismatic presenter that delivers take home value for adults and inspiration for teens.”
"Jack was great! He was intriguing to listen to and had a lot of humor which added to the keynote. We had about 250 in the audience with several interested in asking questions afterwards and taking pictures with Jack. It just so happened that one of the teachers present and her class had been following Jack on Twitter. Jack spent a couple of hours engaging in discussion over Twitter with this class and answering their questions. That teacher was who was selected to introduce Jack on Friday and she was very appreciative and excited to do so. We are so thankful and blessed to have had Jack at our event. Thank you for all your support and help in making it happen."
"Jack’s presentation was very much aligned with the purpose and the goals of the event. It was a great success!"
“Thank you for helping us make YPO Pacific Edge 2016 a FIRST “only-in-YPO” experience. Your session(s) were extremely well received and you have made a remarkable impression on the organization. I wanted to personally thank you for making my vision come true and provide the audience with a wide array of tools to create change in the world. You helped connect minds – now it’s up to all of us to go out and create the future!”
“Jack did a fantastic job at the MEDA Annual Conference. He was prompt, engaged, poised, and, of course, knowledgeable about his subject. He handled the Q&A session with ease. Bottom line is he really wowed the audience. We highly recommend Jack as a speaker for other organizations.”
“You won over the hearts and minds of our middle school students by connecting with them on a deep personal level by sharing your story and telling your truth. You inspired them to engage in self-love, follow their curiosity, lean on their optimism and develop the grit needed to overcome 4,000 failures and 199 rejections. Furthermore, you have given them the hope to overcome bullying and teasing by staying focused on helping others”.
“Jack Andraka was the epitome of a professional. His presence was felt by all – and he inspired a great deal of folks in our audience. Jack’s presentation skills paired with his etiquette really blew many of us away.”
“It was our absolute pleasure having Jack and his speech went over incredibly well. He's an inspiration to us all, and a living testament that anyone can make a long-lasting positive impact.”
"Although it has been a week since Jack visited CMU, I am still “hyper” and absorbing his presence at CMU...I’d like to use our chair’s phrase to describe his visit, 'you were not what I expected and everything I wanted'...the way he talked about what he did and is doing was so inspiring, positive, and truthful. …He was grounded and solid. We like him not just because what he does but also who he is!"
"This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him."
“Jack-please continue inspiring students from all around the world. Your speaking style and the way you broke it down for students was perfect. You looked like a veteran teacher teaching students while you were commanding the stage. Great job!”
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