Category Archives: Inventor Spotlight

Inventor Spotlight: Suhani Nog

Our inventor this time is Suhani Nog, whose team invented the multi-functional scissors in one of our earlier camps. The team’s invention won a national level award as part of the “Student Ideas for a Better America” competition organized by the National Museum of Education.

Here is Suhani talking  about herself and her ideas.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Suhani Nog and I am a 7th grader at Evergreen Middle School. My favorite subjects are math and science. Some hobbies I have are playing squash, reading, and drawing. I had a lot of fun at this summer camp learning about creativity and brainstorming.

What is your invention and how does it work?

Our invention was called the Switch-It-Scissors which was primarily made for cutting through different materials. The blades of the scissors can be swapped for a different kind of blade which is better for the task at hand.

How did you come up with the idea?

When our team was discussing ideas, one problem that came up a lot in our daily lives had to do with scissors. Whether we were cutting through cardboard, paper, or an intricate design, the same scissors could not be used. The blades were not small enough, strong enough, or sharp enough.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

For our prototype we cut out cardboard and covered it with felt and duct tape to resemble the blades which were attached together at the bottom making it slide apart and together. We created a couple of different blades using cardboard covered with aluminum foil. The blades could be slid into a socket at the end of the handles.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

One very important skill I learned from this camp was how to be creative and be original. The best designs are not complicated but simple. Using everyday problems, the most important inventions are the ones which can solve the problem the easiest.

What is your most fun memory from the camp?

My best memory from the camp would be all the creative acting games we played in the morning. These activities really boosted up my creativity level and allowed me to think up original solutions to problems.

What kind of problems do you want to solve when you grow up?

When I grow up, I am thinking about going into biology which is a field of science which I really enjoy. When I grow up , I am going to solve problems to make others’ lives better in the future. In this field, problem solving and creativity will really come into play.

What will you be using your prize money for?

I will use my prize money to buy more resources to continue my love of science and math.

Congratulations to Suhani for her great work! We look forward to seeing you solve more problems!  

Inventor Spotlight: Abhishek Vaidya

Our inventor this time is Abhishek Vaidya, who came up with an idea to make better turn signals on bike handles. His invention won a national level award as part of the “Student Ideas for a Better America” competition organized by the National Museum of Education. He designed the bike handle as part of our summer camp, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School.

Here is Abhishek talking about his idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Abhishek Vaidya. I am in the 5th grade Quest program at Lake Washington School District. I like to play tennis and run track. I enjoy writing narratives and math.

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention is an advanced bicycle handle. I found that most people crash on bikes when they are using their hand for turn signals. Some people do not even bike on streets because they are not comfortable with taking their hands off the bicycle handle to give turn signals. My invention solves that problem by putting buttons on the handle right above where your thumbs will be. The buttons each activate a light on the back and front of the bike showing which way you will turn, kind of like a car’s turning lights.

How did you come up with the idea?

One day, I was looking out the window and I saw a really cool looking motorcycle. The biker was going wobbly trying to use turn signals. That sparked an idea which led to another until I came up with the bicycle handle idea.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

Yes, my prototype worked. It was a bicycle handle made of paper, with a pressure sensor on the handle bar.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

I learned that creativity has no bounds. I enjoyed thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas to use technology to solve simple problems.

What is your most fun memory from the camp?

My favorite memory of the summer camp was creating 3D printing models on a software called Sketchup.

What kind of problems do you want to solve when you grow up?

I would like to use my creativity to come up with solutions to problems faced by underprivileged people, especially children.

What will you be using your prize money for?

I will save my prize money in my bank account that my father opened for me. It will be my emergency stash.

 

Congratulations Abhishek for a well deserved award! We love your goal of helping underprivileged children and wish you the best.  

Inventor Spotlight: Neha Krishnakumar

Our inventor this week is Neha Krishnakumar, whose team invented the multi-functional scissors in one of our earlier camps. The team’s invention won a national level award as part of the “Student Ideas for a Better America” competition organized by the National Museum of Education.

Here is what Neha had to say about her invention.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Neha Krishnakumar and I am a 7th grader in Evergreen Middle School in Redmond, Washington. I like solving logic puzzles and finding creative solutions to problems. I also like taking creative photographs and playing the violin.

What is your invention and how does it work?

My team’s invention idea was called “Switch-it Scissors”. This idea solves the problem of having to switch between different kinds of scissors and tools while working on a project.

The way it works is you get different types blades such as knife blades, zigzag blades for edges, serrated blades and regular cutting blades that can be detached from the handle. So the user can change the blades based on their need while working on their project. We also provide two different handle sizes for both kids and adults.

How did you come up with the idea?

The challenge that we were given was to find a creative way to make school supplies better. We chose scissors because we thought that it could have more improvement than any other supplies. While working on projects we switch between different types of scissors and it makes the whole process more tedious. Our solution will improve efficiency and make things more convenient for the user.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

We chose to use cardboard and duct tape to make our prototype. We made the different types of blades and handles by cutting the cardboard out in different shapes and sizes. Even though the prototype does not physically work, it clearly demonstrates how the end product will look and feel.

We learned a lot from the experience of building this prototype. It taught us how to collaborate as a team, share multiple ideas and have fun while building it.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

MindAntix taught me multiple creative thinking techniques during the summer camp. I used these techniques that were taught to come up with the prototype ideas. Two strategies that stood out for me are “Don’t refuse any ideas even if you don’t think they are good” and “Always think out of the box”.

What is your most fun memory from the camp?

I enjoy problem solving and this camp gave me an opportunity to work on that. My favorite part was when all of us presented all our prototypes to the parents and other audience who were invited on the last day of the camp.

What kind of problems do you want to solve when you grow up?

I like to focus on solutions for making tasks easier than they are. It does not matter if these tasks are trivial or complex. No problems in this world should be ignored as we can always make our lives easier with better solutions.

What will you be using your prize money for?

This prize money is my first income in life. I really cherish it and I decided to add this prize money to my savings account and will use it later.

Congratulations Neha for a well deserved award! We wish you the best in your journey towards solving more problems.  

Inventor Spotlight: Angad Arora

With this blog we are launching our Inventor Spotlight series that highlight some of our student inventors who came up with a neat idea for an invention.

Our inventor this time is Angad Arora, who came up with a design for a suitcase that makes the job of packing easier, by providing feedback on the weight while it’s being packed. Angad’s invention won a national level award as part of the “Student Ideas for a Better America” competition organized by the National Museum of Education. He designed the suitcase as part of our summer camp, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School.

We had a short Q&A with Angad after he won the award.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Angad and I am in 4th grade Quest program at Redmond Elementary. Science interests and fascinates me as it is everywhere around us. I would like to research more about the human DNA when I grow up.  

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention, “Super Professional Suitcase” is a concept of the weighing of suitcases, made easier. The suitcase comes with a pressure sensor that warns you as you start reaching the airline weight limit. It does this while you are packing, so you don’t have to stop and weigh each time.

How did you come up with the idea?

The inspiration of this idea came from our yearly trips to India. For these trips we buy gifts for our extended family. The airlines allocate certain weight limits per suitcase. To adhere to this weight, limit the packing takes a while with many rounds of putting and taking out stuff. I noticed that my parents get exhausted after this task.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

For my prototype I used a shoebox to resemble a suitcase and installed a pressure sensor system at the bottom of the box. I had to carefully assemble the circuit. The procedure was to:

  1. Make a copper wire circuit system with a LED that is incomplete at a certain point
  2. Get a pressure sensor that has a piece of copper wire that attached to it
  3. Put tape on to the pressure sensor
  4. TEST- put weight in the shoebox- the pressure sensor will connect to the copper wire circuit causing the LED to light up

What did you learn from the summer camp?

I learned that if I wanted to make an amazing invention, I would have to think outside of the box and think  creatively – by being original with my ideas, and trying to solve a problem.

What is your most fun memory from the camp?

The teachers were very engaging and helped you think of the most imaginative ideas you could think of. We played many brain games that made you think outside the box.

What kind of problems do you want to solve when you grow up?

I want to solve existing problems for people so that they can have an easier and convenient future.

What will you be using your prize money for?

I will use the prize money to buy an experiment kit for my next prototype!

Congratulations Angad for a well deserved award! We hope you continue to solve more problems and we look forward to more ideas from you.