by extramarks - Academics - January 14, 2019January 14, 2019 Celebrating Kid Inventors through the ages. Henry Ford once said, ‘The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.’ A young mind is a brilliant thing, after all. Curious to learn and eager to explore, the potential of a young mind is unparalleled in its capacity to come up with ideas and concepts that an adult may not even comprehend. And so, we celebrate the 17th of January, every year as Kid Inventors Day. The 17th of January, which happens to be the birth date of a highly prolific and impactful inventor, who people may not know was indeed as brilliant in his childhood, as he was once he grew up, Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin, when he was just 12 years old, invented the world’s first swim flippers, paving the way ahead for future young inventors. These young minds are churning out innovative ideas daily, and this Kid Inventors Day, we celebrate their brilliance by telling you about five Kid Geniuses #1 George Nissen Back in 1930, George Nissen came up with something that would change the face of acrobatics: the trampoline! George observed trapeze artists finishing their routines by dropping into a safety net below and he thought to himself, ‘Wouldn’t it be more interesting if they kept bouncing?’. That was that, he got into his parents’ garage, pulled together a metal frame, stretched canvas over it and voila! The trampoline was born. #2 Chester Greenwood Sometimes the cold can be a great motivation to create something. A 15-year-old Chester Greenwood was in the middle of an ice skating session in Farmington, Maine when he’d had enough of the cold prodding his ears. He used his ingenuity (and his grandma’s sewing skills), two tufts of fur and a loop of wire that connected them together. And thus, the earmuffs were born. #3 Louis Braille Having lost his vision at the age of 3, Louis Braille never lost sight of his goals. When he was a 15-year-old studying at The National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, he realized that the school’s specially embossed books were too unwieldy for him to read. Then one day he met Charles Barbier, a French soldier who used a code language called ‘sonography’, a system of feeling raised dots that allowed soldiers to communicate in the dark. Inspired by this, he came up with Braille, the system now used for reading by the visually impaired, the world over. #4 Param Jaggi Travelling ahead to more recent times, Param Jaggi started working with environmental technologies when he was just 13. A few years later, while learning to drive, he was inspired to build a device that converted the harmful carbon dioxide emitted from a car into breathable oxygen. He accomplished this with his invention, the Algae Mobile, which was patented in 2011 and has won countless awards. His invention has a possibility to potentially one day revolutionize air quality. #5 Catherine Wong Healthcare is often a tedious endeavor, involving hospitals, multiple checkups and lengthy procedures to assess one’s status and cure any possible ailments. However, Catherine Wong a 17-year-old student from Morristown, New Jersey, was quick to see a pattern in the chaos. Smartphones, they’re everywhere, in everyone’s pockets. Catherine used this to her advantage and leveraged her ingenuity to invent a tiny device that displays a patient’s heartbeat right on the screen of their phone! Giving them the ability to undertake an electrocardiogram to check for any problems, anytime, anywhere. The invention could potentially improve medical care for millions and save just as many lives. Such is the power of a young mind, which can look an insurmountable obstacle and find a way to vanquish it, leap over it, or quite simply, walk around it. These young brains have the potential to apply a seemingly distant technology to solve a problem which many had given up on. Extramarks salutes the spirit, passion and talent of these young innovators and hopes to nurture several more in the times to come!