What would you invent? Ideas from kids (1)
December 22, 2021
This is But Why: a Podcast for Curious Kids from Vermont Public Radio. I'm Jane Lindholm. On this show, we take questions from curious kids just like you. And sometimes the answers to those questions come from curious kids just like you. For today's episode, we got to ask the question, to celebrate the end of 2021. And the start of the new year, we thought we'd have a little fun and look to the future. So we asked you to send us your ideas for inventions. And you responded with ideas for things like flying cars, machines that do your chores for you, and invisibility cloaks, and more. I think it's safe to say that some of your inventions are things we might actually see in the future. And some are probably the realm of science fiction or fantasy. But let's get started. Let's imagine a world that's a little bit different from the one we live in now. We are going to hear all the ideas you sent us and to help inspire you to actually go make your invention. We're also going to talk with two kids who did turn their idea into reality. First, though, let's hear a few of your ideas, starting with how we might harness energy.
Hi, I'm Mara and I'm seven years old from Spokane, Washington. My idea for an invention is a solar powered cooler. When we went camping all our ice kept melting and our cheese got all goopy. What if we use the energy from the sun to some how cool the food that needs to stay cold?
My name is Idris and I live in Madison, Wisconsin. But I'm truly from South Asia. And my invention is the battery powered refrigerator that's powered by four double A batteries. And the reason why I'm building it is because in some countries or places electricity doesn't work well.
Idris, it's awesome that you're trying to make things work better in places that don't have stable electricity. And Mara so many inventions come from people's own experiences. A solar powered cooler is an excellent idea.
My name is Slyvie and I'm 10 years old, and my great idea for invention is a toy that has motion sensors so when you wave to it, it'll say hello,
Sylvie, I would be waving at it all the time.
Hi, my name is Yasmin from South Orange, New Jersey and I'm 10 years old. Something I would invent is a double bristle toothbrush because it would be much easier, so much easier to brush your teeth.
Good one, Yasmin.
Hi. My name is Zavi. I'm seven years old from North Carolina. My invention would be magical notes. My mommy always gets great ideas while driving but can't write them down because her hands are on the wheel. Magical notes will listen to mommy say her ideas out loud and type it out like magic on her phone onto a notepad. Then later Mommy could read her ideas and write more. Magical notes is handsfree note taking and idea making.
I bet your mom would love that, Zavi. You know what I would love? Penelope's invention: real fairy dust.
Hi, my name is Penelope. I'm keen to invent fairy dust. All the kids will use my invention if they want to make a wish. My fairy dust will be the color rainbow. And it will be free to all children.
Free fairy dust for all the children! Come and get it.
I'm Thomas and I'm from St. Louis. And I'm four and a half. And my idea is to make a robot trampoline that give you snacks whenever you want to. And you can watch TV while you're bouncing.
That is one fancy trampoline!
I Lily-Mei and I'm six years old, and I live in Vancouver, BC and I will invent a cup that can open for kids. Thank you. Bye!
Jane 05:01 Cool!
My name is Henry. I'm 10 years old, and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. If I could invent anything, I would invent a automatic fetch machine that will pick up and throw any type of balls for any type or size of dog. You can feed balls into a slot on the side of the machine, the ball will come out in the palm of the machines hand. This machine is for dog owners that can't throw.
I bet even dog owners who can throw would like that if they have a dog that never seems to get tired of playing fetch.
I'm Rowan. I'm six years old, and I live in Portland, Oregon. And I would like a slide that give you an ice cream cone at the bottom.
A slide that gives you an ice cream cone at the end. Sign me up, Rowan. But here's a question for you. Do you think you'd get sick of ice cream after a while if every time you went on the slide, you got one? Here's another ice cream related invention.
Hello, my name is Sebastian. I am seven years old. And I live in Hong Kong. My invention is an ice cream making machine. How it works is that you put a dollar coin inside and out comes an ice cream.
Hi, my name is Aashay. And I'm seven years old. I live in San Diego, California. And my invention is a vaccine that can make you live forever to make a new planet.
Oh my gosh, this one vaccine is going to do both things at once? Wow! But you know Aashay you're going to have to also invent a spaceship that can take you to that new planet to explore it. Meera, who is six and lives in New Delhi, India sent us a picture of the invention she'd like to make. It's shaped like the kind of whale called a narwhal. And here's Meera describing it.
Can you explain what you're drawing?
Hello, hello. So, this is the picture of the narwhal that will help clean the ocean. So this is the narwhals'
body. These are the claws that can pick up the trash. These are two chip. This is a chip packet and bean container. And these are microplastics. So this the horn will suck them up. Okay, and this is the main body of the narwhal. And over on its belly. It has like a compartment that it can open and it can take in any sort of trash.
Wow. Okay, that's wonderful.
So it's cleaned up almost all of the this area in my picture.
Parent 08:09 Okay, wonderful.
Kind of like the Mermicorn another kid created that we talked about in one of our previous episodes. I'm now picturing a whole pod of mechanical creatures cleaning up our ocean. I love it.
Hello. My name is Finn, and I am eight years old and live in Gold Coast Australia. My invention would be an app that if you find any feathers, scan it, and the app would tell you what type of bird it was from. Thank you.
Oh, wow. I know a lot of people who would love that app.
Hello, my name is Lily. I live in Millersburg, Ohio and I am seven years old. My invention is a book light bracelet you wear at night to read a book when it's dark. Goodbye!
Yes, that sounds awesome. And like a way so many kids would try to sneak more books after bedtime. Don't think you're fooling us adults, Lily.
My name is Ollie. I'm five years old. I'm from New Zealand. My invention is like the Big Bang machine so scientists can study it. If we know more about the big bang. And we can know more about the universe.
A big bang machine would be fascinating. Okay, so let's say you have a good idea for an invention like all the ideas we've already heard. How do you make that concept into reality something people can actually use. We talked with two young people who did turn their idea into an invention.
I'm Mika'il Naqvi. I'm 14 years old, almost 15, and I live in Shelton, Connecticut.
I'm Ayaan Naqvi. I'm 13 years old, and I'm from Shelton, Connecticut also.
Ayaan and Mikhail created something called the ornament anchor. Ayaan had the original idea when he was in fourth grade, trying to find something to do for a school based invention convention.
I was just sitting at home trying to come up with an invention. And I saw my dog Zara, and she, her tail always hit our ornaments down. And I remember that year, we broke like three of our ornaments, because it just bumping into them, our dog hitting them. So I thought there has to be a solution. And I researched and there was nothing on the market besides just hooks and ribbons. So I created the prototype. And so I found all the materials I needed. We went through multiple ideas of how it would how it would work. And eventually, we ended on the one the one that we thought was best. And then when I went to the, when I went to the show my invention, everyone loved it. Like all the parents, all the kids, like all the teachers, they thought it was a genius invention.
Yeah, so it was a great success. And Ayaan was able to invent ornament anchor for invention convention all the way back when he was in fourth grade, which to me is quite astonishing for somebody that young of an age to be able to go out, create something, test it and show it, which I think is awesome.
But after the invention convention, that wasn't just it, then you had to then you figured out a way to make it a real product that people could buy. And you had to protect yourself, right, you had to get a patent for it, you had to be able to make it something that somebody else who already had machinery in a big company couldn't just copy and make themselves. How did you do that?
So how we went about this was first I wanted to learn more about business, I wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship. And my parents are entrepreneurs, they're great mentors to us. But you can't really know enough about business if you haven't started a business. So I was like, okay, well, so let's start a business. And I asked Ayaan, hey, do you remember that awesome idea that you had back when you were in fourth grade? Let's turn that into a business. So we turned it into a business and we wanted to straight go out selling but our parents told us: No, you need a patent, you need to be able to patent it so that nobody can steal your invention. Nobody can make your invention so that you keep your invention safe, so it's only you selling it. So that's what we did. We started off we got a patent. We actually emailed a bunch of lawyers, because we didn't have any money. So we emailed a bunch of lawyers, hey, could you give us a free like, what a free patent and all that stuff.
we're kid entrepreneurs trying to make it so. But unfortunately, we didn't, we didn't get anyone to like respond.
They all ignored our emails, which is kind of unfortunate.
But Ayaan says in business, you always have to be prepared for everything. In case you haven't heard of that word patent before a patent is a way to legally protect your idea. So someone else can't take it and go make money off something you invented. Patents are issued by the government. And there are