World-Changing Inventions by Genius Teenagers
Many people believe "the children are the future," and innovative teenagers keep proving this statement to be true. Some people might argue that teenagers are lazy, immature and just want to stay up all night, but countless teenagers are actually working hard to solve the world’s biggest problems.
From removing blind spots from cars to designing pedal-powered washing machines, here are world-changing inventions by genius teenagers.
Eliminating Blind Spots in Cars
From West Grove, Pennsylvania, 14-year-old Alaina Gassler created a solution for one of the biggest car problems in history. The genius teenager invented a device to eliminate blind spots in cars, winning a $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her creation.
The idea came to Gassler after her mom said she disliked using the family's Jeep Grand Cherokee because the front A-pillars created blind spots. Her own brother began driving, which also compelled her to move forward with the project.
Gassler said, "There are so many car accidents and injuries and deaths that could’ve been prevented from a pillar not being there." Since she couldn't get rid of the front A-pillars, she found a way to use them in her design, which includes a webcam, projector, 3D printed adapter and retroreflective fabric. Her device casts the image of the blind spot onto the pillar.
Currently, the invention is a prototype, but Gassler is planning to patent the device and work with automotive companies like Tesla.
Pedal Washing Machine
In the past, Remya Jose and her family hand-washed their clothes in their local river. The task took too much time and energy, but the family had no choice because they didn't own a washing machine and her neighborhood didn’t have electricity. Jose wished to create a washing machine that didn't need power for her family and community, so she studied how electric washing machines worked.
At the age of 14, Jose invented a pedal-powered washing machine with an aluminum container and old bicycle parts. The device allows you to put clothes, hot water and detergent in the container. After it soaks, you can pedal to spin and clean the laundry. The container also has a faucet to drain the soapy water, making it easy to refill the machine with clean water.
The young innovator from India won a National Award, and at age 18, she applied for a patent on her invention. She continues to serve the community by making new devices to help rural areas.
Water Purifier and Power Generator
Millions of people around the world don't have access to electricity or clean water. But one teenager is close to solving that problem with just one device. All the way from Australia, Cynthia Sin Nga Lam invented H2Pro, a portable tool that purifies dirty water and uses the waste to produce power.
At the age of 17, Lam became one of the finalists in Google's 2014 Science Fair for her groundbreaking invention. She explains, "There are some technologies for purifying water that are similar, but you’d need an extra source of electricity. For this one, you only need sunlight and titania. It can generate a very efficient source of clean electricity as well." Even better, the device is affordable and easy to maintain.
Bra That May Detect Early Signs of Breast Cancer
Mexican teen Julián Ríos Cantú was only 13 when he almost lost his mom to breast cancer. His mom's battle with cancer inspired Cantú to fight against the disease in his own way. He invented Eva, a high-tech bra that can detect early signs of breast cancer. The device tracks dramatic changes in temperature, which are signs of increases in blood and heat in the area due to a tumor.
Cantú explained his mom's experience, saying, "The tumor went from having the dimensions of a grain of rice to that of a golf ball in less than six months. The diagnosis came too late, and my mother lost both of her breasts and, almost, her life." Eva is currently a prototype, but it's one step closer to saving many lives thanks to the passionate innovator.
Dementia Patient Wander Warning Device
Many people suffering from Alzheimer’s tend to wander, worrying their loved ones and caregivers. You can just ask Kenneth Shinozuka from New York. His grandfather has Alzheimer’s, and he frequently got out of bed in the middle of the night and experienced many accidents. Shinozuka's aunt was his caretaker, but she often failed to catch him leaving his bed. In one instance, the police found him walking on the side of a California freeway wearing his pajamas.
Eager for a solution, Shinozuka went right to work on a wearable device that alerts caretakers when patients with dementia get out of their beds. The wireless sensor attaches to their feet, tracks pressure and sends a loud alarm to the caregiver's mobile phone. For eight months, his aunt tested the sensor on his grandfather. The results: a 100% success rate and a happier aunt.
At just 15 years old, Shinozuka won a $50,000 Google Science Fair prize for his world-changing invention, now called SafeWander. Today, Shinozuka continues to improve his device and tests it at several senior care facilities across the country.