Great question, bruce. There are a lot of young inventors out there, but some of the more notable inventions would include:
1958, The American flag – Robert Heft, 17 years old
1930, The trampoline – George Nissen, 16 years old
1873, Earmuffs – Chester Greenwood, 17 years old
1824, Braille – Louis Braille, 15 years old
Hope this helps!
Every year, MIT’s engineering department holds a competition for young inventors with an eye to environmental sustainability. Some of the most innovative include a motorcycle that was not only all electric, but it was built safer than a conventional bike and could travel 50 miles on one charge. One team created a lifting machine for a variety of difficult tasks that was all electric, and could replace gas-powered machines on construction sites.
Some towns have green invention contests for the very young: elementary school kids. Some of their ideas may already be out there in another form, but kids are always able to put a creative spin on them. In one town in Australia, kids came up with a colorful water tank to collect rainwater for gardens, an automatic solar-powered hair styler, and a solar-powered laptop.
One of my favorites is a young man named Eben Bayer from Vermont, who observed the way the “roots” of mushrooms hold soil together and took this knowledge to create a biodegradable alternative to polysterene. The material is in every way like Styrofoam, except that it’s stronger and totally made of mushrooms, so that it won’t stay around as litter for hundreds of years! Read about him and some other great younge inventors here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8417192.stm .
Just recently a student at the college I go to invented something called 3SecondReceipts. It’s a digital receipt database. It’s been extremely successful, especially at schools and colleges, and has saved companies a lot of money. The student who invented it is only 19 or 20. For more information, see the link below.
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