30 Jan Remarkable Inventions by Children
There is something to be said for the ingenuity of a child’s mind. By encouraging our youth and giving them creative freedom we see what they’re capable of. Some of our everyday products like TV and even the fold in the brown paper bag were created by individuals under 19. Other inventions stretch the imagination to things you never knew you needed. You may be surprised to learn about these inventions by children.
Kids sure love trampolines. So it should come as to no surprise that the bouncy device was created by a kid. In 1930 16-year-old George Nissen went to a trapeze show and noticed their safety netting. He immediately went home and started working on his very own contraption. He made the original trampoline from canvas with a metal frame.
According to the English newspaper The Independent, Nissen’s coach Larry Griswold helped him improve upon the original idea in 1934 by adding springs to connect the canvas to the metal framing. Before long the invention took off. By 1942 the pair went on to create the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company. It gained popularity not just with children but also proved useful for American WWII pilots and circus tumblers.
Some of the best inventions come about by accident. In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a mixture of powdered soda, water, and a stick in a cup on his porch overnight. The temperature dipped below freezing, leaving him with a frozen snack in the morning. He was smart enough to see the potential and started making what he called epsicles for all of his friends at school. He patented his idea in 1923 and sold it to a corporation for cold, hard cash.
Bacon is certainly popular. We just wish it were a little bit healthier for us. Abby Fleck figured out a solution when she was just 8 years old. After running out of paper towels when making bacon with her father Abby had the idea to hang the bacon and cook it. They developed a kind of bowl with a hanging rack above it. This way the fat just drips off the bacon. After she pitched the idea in 1993, Walmart bought the rights to the product and now sells it all over the U.S. It may not make bacon healthy, but at least it reduces the fat content a little bit.
A Sensor for Patients with Dementia
15-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka made a device that can be placed in a sock to detect when a dementia patient has gotten up and started wandering. He created it after living with his grandfather who had Alzheimer’s. His grandfather would get up in the middle of the night and wander around, often hurting himself in the process. This device is placed in a sock to detect when pressure has been placed on the foot. A quarter-sized computer chip in the hem of the sock sends a signal to a caretaker’s phone via an app to makes them aware that the patient has gotten up. Shinozuka even gave a TED Talk about his invention.
Air Freshener from Cow Poop
Air fresheners can contain harmful chemicals that deplete ozone, a gas that protects the Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation. That’s why two young ladies from Indonesia set out to make a better air freshener. Would you believe the fresh scent came from cow poop?
Dwi Nailul Izzah and Rintya Aprianti Miki came up with the idea to collect cow poop and let it ferment for three days. Afterwards, they seperated the water from the feces then filtered out the impurities. After mixing the remaining liquid with coconut water the pair created an aroma that smells like fresh cut grass! Rightfully, these two high school students won first prize in Indonesia’s Science Project Olympiad for their ingenious concoction.
It’s amazing how many everyday products were created by kids. After finding that a scarf wasn’t enough to keep his ears warm, 15-year-old Chester Greenwood set out to make something more reliable. He created his first prototype with a wire headband and beaver skin pads. Yankee magazine states that although this was not the first iteration of the earmuff it was the one that caught on. Greenwood patented the idea in 1877 and was soon manufacturing thousands a year. To this day his home state of Maine sets aside a day to celebrate their local inventor and thank him for bringing warmth to their ears!
Fascinated by his father’s investments 12-year-old Fabian Fernandez-Han started investing his own money into the stock exchange. Soon, he thought of a fun way to get other kids interested in investing money early. So with the help of the adults around him, Fernandez-Han created Oink-a-Saurus. It’s a phone app to teach kids to invest in their futures rather than investing in candy or toys. When used at an early age this app could help kids graduate debt free and start their retirement fund.
With a little bit of creative freedom, there is no telling what a child can invent. They are capable of the most amazing things! All it takes is a little bit of inspiration and support from their loved ones and kids can do anything they set their minds to!
PHOTO: Skitterphoto / CC0 Public Domain