Kids are the coolest and now it’s time for them to show their amazing ideas in the 6th annual Global Spark! Lab Invent It Challenge. Launched by Cricket Media, in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, the contest offers eligible children from around the world the opportunity to showcase their creative thinking on a global stage, with the opportunity to win exciting prizes such as a patent consultation from Nelson Mullins, LEGO kit, books from Smithsonian, and subscriptions to Cricket Media’s Science Magazines.
Individual students and entire classrooms (K-12) serving children between the ages of 5-21 are encouraged to participate where they are asked to hink about a real-world environmental issue and design a planet-friendly solution. Kids are guided to look at the world around them and think about the environmental challenges facing people and their families, communities and the world. Specifically, the Challenge encourages them to tackle issues such as water scarcity, climate change, air or water pollution, endangered species and natural resource loss.
Highlights from the 2016 Invent It! Challenge winners include the following solutions by young inventors:
- Designed by a six-year old to address her brother’s sensory disorder, The Blanket Friend incorporates soft toys, rattle noises and in her words, “zippers, buttons, crinkly stuff and more.
- An Indiana-based 14-year-old created an economically feasible filtration system that can cheaply purify water anywhere in the world. Magic Sand, a Novel Graphene Oxide Based Water Filtration System uses Graphene oxide- coated sand, which is impermeable to dyes, metals and salt but still permeable to water.
- The Massage Rope is designed to help injured athletes stay in shape while recovering from leg injuries. Created by a New Jersey-based team of 10 and 11-year olds, the rope is made of recyclable braided plastic bags, and rotating wooden spools.