Top 10 INVENTIONS THOUGHT UP BY KIDS
Children are capable of looking at the world in a fresh new way that no adult could even dream of. Whereas most children’s ideas seem foolish and naive to us adults, there has actually been a time or two that they were on to something. In this installment from top10archive, we are going to look at 10 things invented by younger people.
Jack Andraka – Pancreatic Cancer Nanotubes Test
At the age of 15, Jack Andraka won the $75,000 grand prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2012. His invention was a paper test strip which is dipped into a solution of carbon nanotubes that change in conductivity and are capable of detecting deadly viruses and diseases quickly and very inexpensively. One source points out that Andraka isn’t the first to use carbon nanotubes in such a manner, but indeed he is the first known to use it in order to target pancreatic cancer. On December 12th, 2014 he announced that he will be attending Stanford University as a member of the Class of 2019 to further his education. His invention is revolutionary in the field of cancer research, and could quite possible change the way fatal diseases are dealt with and diagnosed.
Alissa Chavez – The Hot Seat
Alissa Chavez made headlines again in 2014 for creating a device called a “Hot Seat.” During her senior year at Eldorado High School, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she heard stories of little children dying after being left in the car too long while their parents were away. Thankfully, most of these cases were accidental, but still a terrible tragedy and loss. The “Hot Seat” was invented as part of her eighth grade science fair project. She acquired a patent in 2012 and has been working with engineers to perfect the design and schematics of the technology as a news source points out. By having an electronic sensory pad on your child’s seat or carrier and simply syncing it to an app installed on your phone, If you walk more than forty feet away from your child, three alarms will sound, one of which will be a notification sent to your cellphone, another to your key fob, and the last sets off the car alarm. This life saving invention has yet to become public and still likely needs work and of course funding.
Blaise Pascal – Calculator
In 1642, at the age of eighteen, a Frenchman named Blaise Pascal designed what he called a counting machine, for the sole purpose of helping his father, which was a tax collector. It was described as, “a device that will eventually perform all four arithmetic operations without relying on human intelligence”. It was dubbed the “Pascaline,” a machine of which relied on geared wheels and could add or subtract two numbers directly and multiply or divide them repeatedly. The young inventor may have made up to fifty of them, but no one saw a real use for it. Calculators can now be found in almost every phone, computer and classrooms across the world, and without them, everyday things such as massive construction projects would prove very hard to complete. In 1968, the programming language, PASCAL, was rightly named after Blaise Pascal.
Philo Farnsworth – All Electronic Television
Several inventors made contributions towards the invention of the television, but the idea for the world’s first all-electronic television was invented by a fifteen year old named Philo T. Farnsworth. He was born in 1906, and despite it being such an archaic time, was fascinated by mechanical devices, more specifically those that required electricity to operate. In 1922, the young lad presented his chemistry teacher with an idea he had for an “image dissector” vacuum tube. This would replace the method at the time of mechanically scanning an image through a spinning disk with holes, and then projecting it onto a screen. After a short hiatus, he got back on his feet in 1926, and with the financial support of some friends, Farnsworth got back to working on his dream and created the first all-electronic television. This invention gained him even more funding, and a patent battle soon ensued, but nonetheless he is now regarded as one of the original fathers of television.
Louis Braille – The Braille Alphabet
Quite a few of you may have heard of Louis Braille. At just three, he lost his sight in an accident and it was never restored. Courtesy of books the school was blessed to have, Braille was taught to read by tracing large raised letters with his fingers, however, this was far from sensible and the books were extremely costly and very bulky. Since they had just fourteen books – due to the expense – Braille became bored very quickly. Using some of his father’s tools, the teenager created his own alphabet which consisted entirely of just six dots. This was so much more compact than the bulky letters and easily readable after learning how the patterns worked. Not only did he do this while blind, he did it at age of fifteen.
Spencer Whale – KidCare Riding Car
Although teenage inventors are quite rare, those under seven are almost unheard of. Spencer Whale is the youngest inductee ever into the National Gallery of America’s Young Inventors. What he did was come up with the concept for the KidCare Riding Car. During a visit to the hospital in 1998, Whale noticed just how hard it was for children to play and have an IV in at the same time; it just wasn’t an enjoyable experience. He decided that a toy car must be built that would specifically house a sick child and their IV without it interfering with their fun.
George Nissen – Trampoline
Trampolines are an excellent way for kids to get some exercise and have fun at the same time. This wonderful invention was thought up by George Nissen, who took gymnastics throughout his childhood. One day, on a visit to the circus, he was marveled at the fact that trapeze were able to perform amazing stunts on safety nets that would give them a bounce. At just sixteen years of age, he began working in his parents’ garage to construct a bouncing gizmo that he had thought up in his head, and by age 20, in 1934, he built his first prototype with the help of his coach, Larry Griswold. He took it to a summer camp where he was employed and of course all the children fell in love with it. He began selling them mainstream, and trademarked the name Trampoline for it from the Spanish word for diving board, “el trampoline.” It took some time for sales to pick up, but they soon did and it was even marketed as a military training tool.
Chester Greenwood – Earmuffs
In 1873, a young boy from Farmington, Maine named Chester Greenwood was a frustrated fifteen year old, tired of having his ears become bitterly cold because of the harsh conditions and temperatures one is subjected to while ice skating. He came up with an idea to help solve this problem; the young man took two loops of wire and asked his grandmother to sew fur over them. He later received a patent for the contraption and incorporated a steel band into its build. The entrepreneur opened his own business, ‘Greenwood’s Champion Ear Protectors,’ one that would prove to be very successful. The product was supplied to U.S. soldiers during World War I, and because of these things, Farmington has become the Earmuff capital of the world and the town puts on an annual parade on the first Saturday of December, celebrating his honor.
Ralph Samuelson – Water Skiing
Ralph Samuelson is the genius teenager behind the invention of the water ski. In the summer of 1922, the eighteen year old Minnesotan found himself wondering why you weren’t able to ski on water if it was possible to do so on snow. Ralph and his brother experimented at Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. They used ordinary snow skis and barrel staves before deciding to make a ski designed specifically for the water. The very first water skis were made out of lumber and leather straps to hold the skis in place, a window sash was also used and served as a rope. He conducted trial after trial until it was finally found that leaning back while keeping your feet at an angle allows for the best skiing experience. Amazingly he never patented this invention, but was credited by the American Water Ski Association as the first known water skier in history in 1966.
Frank Epperson – The Popsicle
In 1905, eleven year old Frank Epperson mixed soda powder and water in a glass, stirred it with a stick, and left the concoction outside overnight. When he awoke, Epperson saw that Mother Nature had taken its course and the chilly San Francisco night had frozen the substance. This was done entirely by accident, and the sweet treat he was left with stuck in the boys head for years. In 1942, he served the cool treat at a Fireman’s Ball and then expanded the little business to Neptune Beach. After patenting it the “frozen confectionary,” he began mass production of the product in various flavors of fruit on the iconic wooden stick; thus the Popsicle as we know it, was born.