Did you know that 500,000 children and teenagers invent games and gadgets every year?
True fact. Many an invention comes about from our youth. Unlike adults, their brains don't say no and they come up with many 'out of the box' concepts. Their ideas have been responsible for everything from earmuffs to walkie talkies, water skis and the trampoline, providing fun and making our lives easier. Innovations in education, such as the idea of Braille, came from a 15 year old who had been blind from the age of 3 and wanted a way to read. Safety devices are on their minds as well. The E-Z Baby Saver in the U.S. was constructed by an 11 year old after hearing tragic tales of babies being left in hot cars due to tired and overwhelmed parents. His device is simple but effective, using rubber bands and a neon reminder when adults go to get out of their cars.
All of the above inventions came before these children graduated from high school. Many a design award has been given and businesses started. It is important to nurture our children's curiosity, ingenuity and growth. Kid Inventors Day at Customs House, opposite Circular Quay, allows the celebration of past and present accomplishments as well as encouraging the creativity of future child inventors.
Behind this free inventors' day is the Telstra Foundation and Code Club Australia, the latter a network on a mission to teach children how technology works through computer coding. In turn, it strengthens problem solving skills and logical thinking. At this workshop event you get to explore and create your own computer games, animations and websites; see 3D printing in action; control your own robots; and more. Suitable for ages 6-12 and their families, places are limited so you will need to register online.
Science and technology are, without a doubt, leading us into the future. There's no escaping the digital age. We use the internet to apply for jobs, educate ourselves, shop, play, connect with friends and who knows what in years to come. Your child could be the next Google intern or the next Steve Jobs. Co-founder of Apple and CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, Steve was a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution and changed six industries – personal computers, tablet computing, animated movies, music, phones and digital publishing. That's some accomplishment.
Some other tech inventions from children
SMARTwheel – developed by 3 teens, this intelligent steering wheel cover prevents driver distraction using sensors
Thermofier – a pacifier with a built in thermometer, created by a young father worried about his child not feeling well
Ocean Cleanup – a Dutch teenager invented this device which is a series of floating booms and processing platforms to collect and rid the seas of plastics that float around polluting and endangering sea life whilst allowing fish to flow through unharmed
PhoneGap – a framework for building cross-platform mobile apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone with web technologies, came from a 11 year old
Lomo Ho – a photography smartphone app developed by a 16 year old girl in Newcastle, NSW which allows you to add colourful filters to your photos
Bubble Ball – a free app created by a 14 year old that has had over 9.1 million downloads, it is a physics puzzle game where you test your ingenuity and thinking skills to get the bubble to the goal. At one point, it was rating higher than the popular Angry Birds game
Bustin Jieber – a Whac-a-Mole game for Justin Bieber, created by a 12 year old boy in the U.S.
iParkedHere – a very helpful app, created by a 17 year old on Sydney's north shore, that reminds you where you parked your car and warns you when your parking time runs out. I think I need to get that one.
Future generations watch out – 'the world is their oyster'.