Piezoelectric Roads
Delisha Manuel
San Jose, California
2022 Honorable Mention
Stratford School - Milpitas
341 Great Mall Pkwy
Milpitas, CA 95035-8008
6th grade | 11 years old
In this project, I studied the possibility of harvesting the mechanical force of the vehicles on the road as a form of clean energy. According to Newton’s Third Law, the vehicles move forward by pushing back on the road. If the road is fitted with equipment that can convert this mechanical force into electrical energy, then it will result in a form of abundant clean energy.

Piezoelectricity is a phenomenon that converts mechanical stress into electrical force. When some materials like quarts are subjected to mechanical stress, they exhibit an electrical polarity across their two ends. When this voltage difference is applied to a circuit, an electrical current flows through it.

I conducted experiments to measure the relationship between the mechanical force and the generated electrical voltage using a toy car and a piezoelectric tile. I varied the load on the car and its speed and measured the resulting force using a spring balance. I made the car run over the piezoelectric tile and measured the generated voltage using a multimeter.

From my experiments, I found that the greater the force applied on a piezoelectric tile, the more the voltage generated. This is very useful because speeding vehicles exert a great deal of force on the road. If piezoelectric materials are embedded under the road surface, they can generate a very large amount of electrical energy.

Therefore, this project helped discover a new source of clean energy.
Why did you enter the Young Scientist Challenge?
I want to share my science project with others and to learn from others’ ideas.
What is your favorite invention of the last 100 years, and why?
My favorite invention of the last 100 years is the Internet because it lets me learn about any topic right from my computer. It also helped me continue attending school during the Covid lockdown.
In 15 years I hope to be...
I hope to become a scientist and explore the natural phenomena and their application to benefit our lives.