Saturday, June 11, 2011

Teens Can Invent, Too

     Popsicles. Cancer screening. The toy truck. Sign language translator. The toddler-proof safety gate. Non-reusable syringes. Earmuffs. Some of these are little inventions that we use each day for entertainment or necessity, while others save lives. But what do they all have in common? In case you're too lazy to raise your eyes to the header, I'll tell you: They were all invented by kids.
     I'm using the term "kids" loosely here. Elizabeth Nathan and Gabrielle Pollack (syringe) were nineteen, technically adults. Ryan Patterson (translator), Chester Greenwood (earmuffs), Ben and Janet Song (cancer screening) were all teenagers when they came up with their inventions. The rest were invented by thirteen-and-unders.
     Like many of their adult counterparts, these young inventors got their ideas from simple everyday experiences. Frank Epperson left a drink with a stirring stick out overnight. Ryan Patterson was sitting in his local Burger King, watching a man translate sign language into English. A thought became an idea, an idea became an invention, an invention changed the way we all live our lives, one way or another. Just because they're young doesn't mean they can't make an impact. And that doesn't mean you can't either.

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