Did you know that a great idea which becomes an invention is called a “brain child”?
Makes us smile, because most people don’t even realize that some widely-used inventions actually do come from the minds of kids (past & present)! Take for example:
- 2010: 4849 Model — a seat belt to save older, but shorter, kids the embarrassment of having to sit in a booster seat while driving in motor vehicles.
- 10-year old Nate Ashcraft heard about a new law on the radio that requires children not yet 4 foot 9 inches tall by the time they are 8 years old to sit in a booster seat.
- He set to work on an adjustable seat belt that would move up and down with the child so that a booster seat wouldn’t have to be used and moved from car to car.
- 2005: Magic Sponge Blocks — large building blocks made from sponge that can safely stack high without worry that they could fall and injure a child.
- 10-year old Taylor Hernandez noticed that wooden blocks could hurt small children when they tumbled down.
- Looking around her home for something else that could be easily stacked, she found sponges, but then came up with the idea of using magnets inside them so that they wouldn’t fall down so easily.
- 1993: Makin’ Bacon Dish –a square, inch-deep skillet of micro-wave safe plastic, with 3 T-shaped supports rising from its center so that the bacon can cook without touching the bottom.
- 8-year old Abbey Fleck was cooking bacon with her dad when they ran out of paper-towel to soak up the excess fat. Abbey though there must be a way to “drip-dry” bacon.
- 1972: The Glo-Sheet — an invention used by the Navy, NASA and even medical personnel who need to check paperwork in the dark without turning on a light.
- 10-year old Becky Schroeder was trying to do her math homework in the car without enough light (or a flashlight) to see her work.
- “I thought,” Becky later said, that “it would be neat to have my paper light up somehow.” She tried fluorescence (which only glows when struck by light), considered bioluminescence (which comes from fire-flies), then realized phosphorescent paint (which is used in glow-in-the-dark toys) would do the trick.
- Becky slathered glow-in-the-dark paint on her clipboard and was thrilled to see that it actually did give off enough light! Over the next few years, Becky improved her invention by adding batteries to generate even more glow. By 14, her device was fully patented!
- 1958: The American Flag – updated 50-star flag
- 17-year old Robert Heft proposed to draw his vision of what an updated American Flag should look like
- His proposed flag idea was initially rejected by his teacher, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer and designed the flag anyway, receiving a B minus for his efforts. Robert asked how he could get a better grade, his teacher suggested that if he could get the U.S. Congress to accept his flag, she’d raise it. Today we still raise the American flag designed by a teenager!
- 1930: The Trampoline – gymnastic apparatus
- 16-year old George Nissen had been tumbling as a gymnast since he was a child. His circus and trapeze training afforded the ability for him to perform far more complex and stylish moves than he could has a gymnast, due to the height and safety-nets that enabled additional rebounding.
- Working in his parents garage, using steel materials he found at a junkyard, George built a rectangular frame with a piece of canvas stretched over the top. The rest is history.
Throughout the month of November, KooDooZ is celebrating kidpreneurs – youth who are dedicating themselves to brainstorm social and societal creations that might change the world for the better. For more information, please contact us at info@KooDooZc.om
Even adults know it takes the flexible mind of a kid to create a real brain-child. Watch the video below:
(video created by Grasshopper)