February 11 is National Inventor’s Day, which falls on the birthday of America’s most prolific inventor, the late Thomas Edison. While he is America’s most famous historical inventor who held more than 1,000 patents, there are modern-day inventors who continue to transform our world with amazing solutions for our biggest problems. In fact, some of our most brilliant inventions come from teenagers! Check them out…
5 Revolutionary Inventions by Teens
- IV Backpack – Kylie Simonds was a cancer survivor and only 11 years old when she invented an IV pediatric backpack for kids with cancer. It was a school assignment that led Kylie to create an alternative to the large IV pack on wheels that is often cumbersome for kids to pull around. Now thanks to Kylie, kids with cancer who need an IV pack can move around easier and in style. Check it out here!
- Cancer detection method- It appears teens have made invaluable contributions to preventing/coping with cancer. Janet, 16, and Benjamin, 15, Song developed a urine test for early detection of cancer. Janet and Benjamin hypothesized that certain DNA markers found in urine are altered when cancer is present. While their invention is still undergoing testing before it’s used clinically, it’s well on its way to saving lives. Read their story here.
- Sensor to protect Alzheimer’s patients – Determined to help his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s, 15-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka invented a device to alert caregivers when their patients with dementia wander. Check out this inspiring TED Talk by Kenneth that has more than 1.4 million views!
- Car exhaust filter – After being astonished at the amount of exhaust cars release, 17-year-old Param Jaggi decided to do something about it. For three years, Param worked diligently to create an exhaust filter. The filter basically takes the carbon dioxide released from the car, and then using photosynthesis, converts it to clean, breathable air. He won an award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for his valiant efforts. Check out the news article here.
- Ocean Sweeper – Boyan Slat , 19, developed a plan to potentially remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of several floating booms and platforms anchored together that act as a giant funnel, gathering plastic and packaging it into garbage cubes that can be dispensed to countries throughout the world. Boyan went on to create a non-profit foundation dedicated to the project. Found out more here.
Remember, you are never too young to start making a difference in the world. This Inventor’s Day, we hope you gather some inspiration to try and invent something yourself!