Sphero NewsAmanda Vaden
Young girl kid inventor sits at makerspace desk using STEM tools.

Kid inventors are Changemakers.

In 1824, Louis Braille developed the first iteration of his tactile writing system. With his invention, the visually impaired regained their ability to read, making it easier for them to communicate and learn. At the time, Braille was only 15 years old.

For many inventors, the desire to help others and change the world comes at a very early age. Kid inventors with a passion for STEM continue to make big impacts in our lives. With modern technology, kids are able to build prototypes and invent devices that have an impact on society. Here are five kid inventors who are creating inventions to save lives today.  

Kid Inventor #1: The 11 Year Old Cancer Survivor & Her Pediatric Backpack

After beating cancer at age 9, Kylie Simonds wanted to solve a problem that plagued chemotherapy patients. During her time in the hospital, Simonds’ movement was limited due to being connected to a large IV bag. Simonds told ABC News that she remembered “tripping over all the wires, getting tangled up and having to drag this big thing around.” So she So she invented a Pediatric IV Backpack that allows children receiving medical transfusions to move around, and makes their treatment a little more bearable.

Kylie Simonds raised more than $50,000 to manufacture her backpacks and was featured on shows such as The Doctors and MSNBC. 

Kid Inventor #2: The 18 Year Old & His Alzheimer Alert System

Alzheimer’s disease is the fastest-growing threat to Americans’ health, and its symptoms not only affect the patients, but also their loved ones.

Kenneth Shinozuka knows this all too well. He remembers being 4 years old, walking in a park in Japan with his grandfather, when his grandfather suddenly got lost. It was then that his family learned that his grandfather has Alzheimer’s. Kenneth needed a way know when his grandfather wandered out of his bed in the middle of the night. So at age 15, Kenneth invented a sock with a pressure sensor that, when activated by a step, would send a message to the smartphone of his grandfather’s caretakers. Not only was Kenneth successful in taking care of his grandfather, but his invention won first prize and the $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action Award.

Kenneth is now attending Harvard, and was a judge in our Invent For Good challenge. You can learn more in Kenneth’s TED Talk from 2014.  


Kid Inventor #3: The 15 Year Old & Her Nebulizer Dryer

We were first introduced to this next kid inventor by our friend Gokul Krishnan, whose Project MACH aims to bring mobile makerspaces to children’s hospitals. These makerspaces allow young patients with chronic illnesses to invent with products such as littleBits and 3D printers.

One such creator is Daelyn James, who used Sphero littleBits and parts she 3D printed to invent a device to let Cystic Fibrosis patients dry their nebulizers. Daelyn invented the device at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where she gets treatment for CF. The mobile makerspace allows Daeyln to get up and out of bed more often, which helps her treatments be more effective. CBS Evening News stopped by Daeyln’s hospital room to see how she invents.  


 Kid Inventor #4: The 15 Year Old & Her Ocean Energy Probe

Hannah Herbst wanted to provide fresh water and a source of sustainable power to people in developing countries. So she invented the Ocean Energy Probe, a device that converts ocean currents into usable power through a generator. Hannah 3D printed her design after modeling it using CAD, and she estimates that if she scales up her prototype she’ll be able to convert enough current into energy to power three car batteries in under one hour! Hannah wants to use her invention to power water desalination pumps to convert salt water to potable water. “I’m excited to aid the world’s energy crisis. I can’t wait to save lives with my invention!” Hannah’s invention won first prize in Discovery Education & 3M’s Young Scientist Challenge.  

Kid Inventor #5: The 10 Year Old & His Self-Disinfecting Hazmat Suit

While following coverage of the Ebola scare of 2014, 9 year old Mark Leschinsky of Mahwah, New Jersey, felt that he wanted to help. He saw a problem in the way hazmat suits were designed, realizing that “900 healthcare workers got infected despite wearing conventional suits.”

So Mark invented a Self-Disinfecting Hazmat Suit designed to keep workers safe when treating patients. The suit has three layers, an impenetrable inner layer, a center layer with pockets filled with disinfecting solution, and an external perforated layer that lets the solution out to kill viruses on the suit. In 2015, Mark was inducted into National Gallery of Young Inventors. PopSci visited Mark last October to learn more about his life-saving invention.

Inspire More Kid Inventors with the Help of Sphero

These kid inventors are making a lasting impact in today’s world and are paving the way for future creators. There’s plenty you can do to help your kid or student become inspired and use STEM principles to change the world.

Giving kids the encouragement and tools needed to transform their ideas into reality and become kid inventors is one of the most important things you can do as an educator. Many educators turn to Sphero’s educational tools for support. Find out how you can get started and browse our products for kid inventors of all ages.

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