Inventor Spotlight: Nivedha Naren

Our featured student inventor is Nivedha Naren, who designed an interesting school supply. 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 Nivedha talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Nivedha Naren. I am a 4th grader at Albert Einstein elementary Quest program. I love reading fiction and it takes me into a dream world. I love art, math and science – especially when they can go together.

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention is called a “Penyon”. It is a combination of a mechanical pencil and crayon especially made for artists. This contraption has the standard mechanical pencil on one side and slots on the other side where you can put crayons. You can get your choice of colored crayon at the press of a button. When not used, it helps store all your crayons safely in one place.

What inspired you to develop this invention?

In my after school, we had a large bin full of crayons that kids used on a daily basis. Most of the time, crayons were either broken or lost.  Also I found it hard to select the color I wanted from this large bin full of crayons. When I am doing my art, I always alternate between pencil and crayons. On many occasions, I have spent time searching for my pencil at different places.

Did your prototype work? How was that experience? 

I made a model of my contraption using construction paper. I made a cylindrical object from the construction paper along with a cone tip for the mechanical pencil. I then used different colored construction papers to resemble the crayons. I glued them on to the back of the pencil to create a ‘ model’ of my contraption. It was not a working prototype but a model. I ideated the working of the button based on the simple idea used in ballpoint pens – i.e. a button with a spring action to push the crayon. I initially thought of having one button per slot to select the crayon but then drew inspiration from a multi-colored pen to have only one color selected.

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

I loved MindAntix camp because it helped in bringing out my creative side. We were encouraged to think out of the box and share ideas. We always make our own things such as a full fledged puppet show where we designed the puppets from scratch. 

Who is your favorite inventor and why? 

I am inspired by many scientists and social workers. But recently i read about Ann Makosinski who became an inventor at the age of 15.  She invented a flashlight powered by body heat. I felt it was a great invention because it solved a very practical problem.

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

I am very passionate about the earth and our environment. I am awed by the great colors around us. I want to solve problems that are destroying nature. I want to preserve the nature around us and its colors for our future generations to enjoy.

How will you use your prize money? 

Gosh.  I haven’t made any plans yet.  But I want to save 70% of the money for my future education and I will make some plans with the rest of the money. Perhaps, I will buy a pet tortoise!

Congratulations Nivedha for winning the award! We hope you get to play with your pet tortoise soon.

Inventor Spotlight: Ayana Bharadwaj

Our featured student inventor is Ayana Bharadwaj, who came up with an interesting concept to make educational games more accessible. 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 Ayana talking about her idea in more detail.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Ayana and I am in 10th grade. I enjoy playing the piano and doing Taekwondo. In school, I enjoy the STEM field. I want to become a computer scientist. 

What is your invention and how does it work?

My invention is a website that hosts educational board games that are easy to download, print and play for anyone. My goal was to make board games accessible for anyone in the world, so they can not only have fun but also learn in the process. These games have been designed by me and other students – it’s been fun for us to design the games and we hope that it’s fun for other children who play these games. 

What inspired you to develop this invention?

I noticed that many board games we had at home were also educational in some way. That made me realize that learning for a lot of us comes not only from schools but also from other games and activities that we participate in. However, for many people in this world education is a luxury, and many parents can’t afford to send their kids to school let alone get them games to help their education. By making these games free and printable, my hope is that kids with very few resources will be able to benefit. 

Did your prototype work? How was that experience? 

My prototype did work. The Google Site could be easily navigated and the games on the site were well liked among the test subjects. It was rewarding to see others appreciate the effort after working hard on developing not only the site but the individual games.

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

One thing I learned was the principle of Jugaad invention, or frugality. Basically, taking something that we use in our daily lives and trying to make it in the cheapest possible way, to benefit others who may not be able to afford those. 

Who is your favorite inventor and why? 

My favorite inventors are the Wright Brothers because flight seemed something of fantasy, but they designed a functioning glider. They also exemplify the frugal mindset – they didn’t have the same kind of money and resources as others who were working on making flying machines. Yet, they used their creativity and perseverance to be the first ones to demonstrate flight. 

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

I want to solve problems that make things more equitable for everyone. I want to continue finding interesting ways to make things more affordable for others.

How will you use your prize money? 

I haven’t decided yet but I might use some of the money to help bring these games to students who need it most.

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

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.