Secret Scientists: Five Kid Inventors Who are Changing the World

The inventions of minors aren’t often highly reported or even noticed, but kids are still creating things they see the world needs with inspiring vigor. With their levels of innovation, any of these devices could be changing the world in a few years.


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A braille printer made out of legos

Shubham Banerjee, a twelve year-old from California, invented the Braigo printer in 2014, a Braille printer which can be constructed from a LEGO set. The materials to make the printer cost about 350 dollars, making it much more affordable than other Braille printers, which can retail for thousands of dollars. Banerjee has made the design completely open-source, published online free of charge. Louis Braille was the same age when he invented his eponymous writing method.

Alternatives to scarce electricity

At the 2012 Maker Faire Africa, four Nigerian girls, Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola, then aged fourteen to fifteen, presented a generator that runs on urine. Adebola was inspired to make an alternatively fueled generator after reading about a family’s death from carbon monoxide fumes produced by their generator. The inventors’ hope is to make the technology available on a mass scale. Who knows what these whiz kids will do next?

A water purifying method

In 2013 Kiona Elliot, 18 and Payton Karr, 16, both from Florida, constructed an emergency water-sanitation system powered by pedaling a bicycle. Alerted to the need for water by the 2010 Haiti earthquake, their goal was to get the technology to places that needed it.

Reaching kids around the world

At 9 years old, Dylan Mahalingam founded Lil’ MDGs in 2004, a nonprofit youth-empowerment organization which aimed to use the power of the internet to meet United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Today the company has tens of thousands of volunteers in dozens of countries, and Mahalingam works with groups like TED Talks to get his ideas off the ground.

Kid innovators who continue to achieve

Param Jaggi invented Algae Mobile, an device filled with live algae that fits over a car’s exhaust pipe to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen through natural photosynthesis, when he was in high school. Now twenty, Jaggi is the CEO of EcoViate, and continues to invent environmentally-conscientious fixes for vehicles, including a system to harness wasted heat.

Kid inventors have innovated useful gadgets throughout history, from the earmuff to loom safety mechanisms, and the tradition continues in young problem-solvers today. With help from companies like Advantage Manufacturing Ltd, which produces aluminum fabrication in Edmonton, more kids are able to get the materials they need to invent. Hopefully, we’ll give these bright sparks the guidance and protection they deserve as much as their ingenious inventions deserve attention.

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