Inventor Spotlight: Nora Redmond

Our featured student inventor this time is Nora Redmond. Nora designed a cool board game along with her sister, at one of our camps held in collaboration with the Archimedes School. Their idea 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 Nora talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Nora Redmond. I’m in 5th grade. My favorite subject in school is math. My favorite animal is called an Okapi. 

What is your invention and how does it work?

Our invention is a board game. It can be played by 2 or more players. Each person uses a 3D printed game piece. First they roll the dice. Next the player will move their 3D printed game piece the number of spaces forward as the dice shows. After this, the player picks up a card. Each card has a picture of an endangered animal on it along with an action which states the animals names and tells the player another action to take. Some examples of what the cards say are: skip a turn, a giraffe ate your map, and on the bottom a fun fact such as: did you know a giraffe’s heart is 30 times the size of a human one. This helps teach players about endangered animals, and maybe help them to help the animals. The next player then follows the same steps.

What inspired you to develop this invention?

My favorite animal is Okapi: a type of endangered animal. Not many people know what an Okapi is. I thought we could raise awareness of Okapis and other endangered animals. We decided to have cards with actions, photo and facts about the endangered animal.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience? 

Our prototype worked and was fun to play with, which was great. 

What are some things you learned from your MindAntix camp that will help you in the future? 

I learnt how to 3D print objects which might come in handy in the future. I learnt how to research and look up facts.

Who is your favorite inventor and why? 

My favorite inventor is Jane Goodall. She discovered how alike chimpanzees are to humans.

What kind of problems do you want to solve in the future?

I want to work on environmental issues such as climate change and conservation.

How will you use your prize money? 

I will save my prize money up for when I go to college.

Congratulations Nora for winning the award! We wish you the best in your future creative endeavors.

Inventor Spotlight: Tara Redmond

Our featured student inventor this time is Tara Redmond. Tara designed a fun board game along with her sister, at one of our camps held in collaboration with the Archimedes School. Their idea 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 Tara talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m Tara Redmond. I am in 8th grade. My favorite subjects in school are math and science. I like coding and working with computers. When I grow up I think I would like to be a computer scientist.

What is your invention and how does it work?

Our invention is a board game. You have to get the pieces from the start to finish. There are cards that have directions on it along with interesting facts about endangered animals. 

What inspired you to develop this invention?

We were inspired by interesting animals that most people have never heard of. We incorporated those animals into our board game.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience? 

When we first made it, it worked pretty well. Then we made more cards to make the game more interesting.

What are some things you learned from your MindAntix camp that will help you in the future? 

I learnt how to brainstorm ideas and I also learnt how to use a 3d printer, which was really fun.

Who is your favorite inventor and why? 

My favorite inventor is Grace Hopper. She invented the world’s first compiler for computer language. 

What kind of problems do you want to solve in the future?

One of the reasons why I want to become a computer scientist is because you have to think and solve problems by using your brain. That is something I hope to do in the future.

How will you use your prize money? 

I got $50 in prize money and I am saving it to use when I am older.

Congratulations Tara for winning the award! We wish you the best in your future creative endeavors.

Inventor Spotlight: Sachita Ghosh

Our featured student inventor this time is Sachita Ghosh, who designed an interesting board game at one of our camps, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School. Her idea 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 Sachita talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Sachita Ghosh. I’m in 6th Grade Quest at Timberline Middle School in Redmond. My favorite subjects are Science and Music. During my free time I like to build puzzles and games. My dream job is to be an architect!

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention is a board game called “Inventors and Architects”. In the game, you trade for resources such as Wood, Rock, Metal, Brick etc. Then you leverage these resources to build cities and shops, there by collecting points. In addition, there are challenge cards which give you extra points and make it more fun. These add an element of surprise in the game, making the game more interesting, and they also enable you to develop different strategies to win. 

What inspired you to develop this invention?

I used my love of games and building things to create something really fun. Leveraging 3D printing to make actual game pieces was a very creative way to put together my love of games and building.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience? 

My prototype did work. When others tried my game they said they liked it and thought it was fun and creative. That experience was one that I will never forget, because I enjoyed creating the game and then watching people have fun playing it.

What are some things you learned from your MindAntix camp that will help you in the future? 

I learned how to design an object using an online tool and then 3-D printing those objects out. I also enjoyed learning about how the 3-D printers worked. We also played several games which helped me look at games from the viewpoint of a creator. The camp taught how to be creative and think outside the box. By leveraging technology and creativity, I could create something that others could have fun with.

Who is your favorite inventor and why? 

Leonardo Da Vinci is one of my favorite inventors. His ideas were far ahead of his time and he had many varied interests from art to architecture to science to mathematics. He is truly inspiring!

What kind of problems do you want to solve in the future?

I would really like to help solve problems related to poverty and homelessness. No one in this world should have to suffer or have problems, and I would like to come up with creative solutions to help address these problems.

How will you use your prize money? 

I plan to use this money to buy materials for my future builds. I will also put away some of it to donate to a cause.

Congratulations Sachita for winning the award! We wish you the best in your future creative endeavors.

Inventor Spotlight: Max Baryshnikov

Our featured student inventor this time is Max Baryshnikov, whose invention idea is to make a drone that helps in emergency services. 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 conceived the idea for the drone as part of our summer camp, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School.

Here is Max talking about his idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Max Baryshnikov, I am currently 11 years old. I am in sixth grade of the International Community school.

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention was a drone-like device. It would help emergency services when they need to explore and secure hazardous locations, mainly fires. It is based of a drone on wheels, but I thought of how I can modify it to make it helpful in fires. This drone would have bright lights, a small speaker, and a mechanism like a grappling hook. If the fire departments need to scout out a fire, they would send in this drone. It would drive around, finding a secure path to get into the fire. If it finds trapped survivors, it would turn on its lights to show the way; the speaker can be used to communicate with the survivors and lead them to safety. But if the drone can’t get to an area, it uses its grappling hook to hook into a higher location, and then it will utilize its bright lights, to mark paths.

How did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea when I thought: “There are so many problems in the world now, what can I do to help?” With a lot of fires going on during the summer when I attended this camp, fire drone seemed like a very useful device.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

My prototype didn’t work because I didn’t know how to fit this all into one drone, I also didn’t even have a way to test it in situations. The experience was a bit disappointing, when my prototype didn’t do well, but that means I hit a wall and if I hit a wall, that means I progressed, which made me happy.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

In my summer camp I learn about other wonderful inventors, their inventions, and how they worked. I also learned that if were to make something – we should organize it and evolve it.

What was your favorite memory from the camp?

My favorite memory from camp was probably learning about all the inventors. It was amazing to learn what they did to create their inventions that made them famous, and how they advanced their lives in such a long time ago.

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

I don’t know what problems will come up in the future. At this age there is only so much I can do. But when I grow up, I can see what new problems develop in that time, because I can be more effective then, then I can now.

What will you be using your prize money for?

I don’t really want to spend my prize money immediately, because I don’t have anything in mind to use it for. I’m going to instead save it, so when I need it, I’ll always have it waiting.   

Congratulations Max for winning the award! We wish you the best as you solve future world problems.

Inventor Spotlight: Krithi Iyer

Our featured student inventor this time is Krithi Iyer, who came up with an idea to make a temperature sensing shoe. Her invention won a national level award as part of the “Student Ideas for a Better America” competition organized by the National Museum of Education. She designed the shoe as part of our summer camp, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School.

Here is Krithi talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Krithi Iyer from Redmond Middle School. I am currently in 7th grade and enjoy coming up with new ideas. Usually my ideas take the form of artwork, however I often come up with various inventive ideas.  

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention was a ‘Thermochromic Shoe’, a shoe that could change its internal temperature. A problem I usually encountered was super cold, or super sweaty feet. This shoe can either cool or heat your foot. As the temperature changes, the color of the thermochromic paint also changes, a color sensor inside of the shoe will then sense the color and either heat up the shoe or cool it down based on the color of the paint. The shoe can also grow or shrink, to fit your foot size and to allow more air circulation inside.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

My prototype worked partially. I wasn’t able to make the color sensor or the heating and cooling system, but I was able to show how thermochromic paint reacted to the temperature outside. I hope that one day I will be able to build this shoe. I enjoyed the experience especially since I enjoyed painting with the thermochromic paint.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

Probably the most significant thing I learned from this camp was what thermochromic paint was. I was previously unaware such a thing existed, but I found it to be a tool that could be used to solve many problems—smaller or larger than a sweaty foot. I also learned the stages of becoming an inventor and how they come up with and execute their ideas.

Who is your favorite inventor and why?

My favorite inventor is Leonardo Da Vinci. He not only created several inventions such as the prototype for a plane, but he was also an artist. His inventions have greatly shaped our world today and I give my thanks to him.

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

When I grow up, or maybe even now, I want to find cures to diseases. Medicine has usually always intrigued me and learning about new diseases enthralls me, or sometimes scares me.  

What will you be using your prize money for?

My prize money will be used for 3 things. First, I am going to donate 20% of it to charity. 10% I am going to save, and the remaining 70% will be used for a business fair I plan to participate in.  I will use the money to buy the materials I need to make my merchandise.

 

Congratulations Krithi for winning the award! We wish you the best in your upcoming business fair, and other creative endeavors in the future.

Inventor Spotlight: Aaron Liu

Our featured student inventor this time is Aaron Liu, who came up with an idea to make a temperature sensing food bowl. 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 bowl as part of our summer camp, held in collaboration with the Archimedes School.

Here is Aaron talking about his idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Aaron and I was born in Washington in 2008. I am in fifth grade and go to Ben Franklin Elementary school. In my free time I enjoy playing baseball.

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention is the thermochromic bowl and it works when a hot substance is placed with in the bowl. The bowl will then change colors.

How did you come up with the idea?

I came up with the idea when I realized that I hurt my tongue a lot while eating hot foods and a bowl that changes colors when something hot was in it was a good idea.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience?

The prototype did not work at first because the plastic was too thick. So I put paint on the brims instead of the whole bowl and it worked. The experience was good.

What did you learn from the summer camp?

I learned a lot but some things I learned are how to use a website to make 3d images, and how thermochromic paint works.

What is your most fun memory from the camp?

My favorite memory was when I won jeopardy on the last day of camp.

Who is your favorite inventor and why?

My favorite inventor is Thomas Edison. He is my favorite inventor because he invented the light bulb and pioneered the way for the different forms of electronic light we have now.

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

When I grow up I want to solve global warming.

What will you be using your prize money for?

I want to save the prize money to buy a arcade game.

 

Congratulations Aaron for winning the award! Solving global warming is a great goal and we wish you the best as you apply your creativity to solve future problems.

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.