Kids & Company Blog

Inspiring Creativity and Innovation on Kid Inventor Day

Kid Inventor Day celebrates the remarkable achievements of young minds that have changed the world with their creative ideas. In this blog, we share stories of exceptional child inventors as inspiration and offer some guidance on how you can encourage creativity and innovation within your child at a young age.

Sam Houghton - The Broom Engineer

At just three years old, Sam Houghtonn came up with the idea “Sweeping device with two heads”, which earned him a patent at the age of five! His simple yet imaginative solution combined two brooms with different-sized bristles and brush heads to efficiently sweep debris of various size.  

Sam came up with the idea when he saw his dad sweeping the leaves and asked him why he switched brushes. He then quickly went into the garage and invented the Improved Broom, offering it to his dad to finish the job. He learned the word ‘invention' from Wallace and Gromit and Archie the Inventor, and used it to describe his new product. 

Sam was lucky that his dad, Mark, is a patent attorney and saw this unique opportunity to not just manufacture and patent the product, but to nurture his son’s understanding of innovation. Sam’s imaginative spark was ignited at the tender age of three, showing us that endless possibilities exist within every child and innovation knows no limits (and that having supportive, nurturing parents goes a long way!).

Angela Zhang - A Cancer-Fighting Prodigy 

The journey of Angela Zhang is nothing short of incredible. At the age of seventeen, she developed a potential breakthrough in cancer treatment using nanoparticles. Angela’s invention started with reading scientific articles in English, which proved to be a challenge because of all the technical language. 

She persevered, and her dedication earned her a place on a Stanford University lab research team, where she continually requested to work on new projects and expand her knowledge. Together, she and the team explored the cancer-fighting potential of a single nanoparticle which was recently approved by the FDA. They found that the nanoparticle could detect and target cancer cells with unprecedented precision, which brought Angela to the White House to present her findings to then president, Barack Obama. 

Angela’s story is one of perseverance, proving that with a passion and commitment to learning, anything can happen. Angela is a great role model for young minds eager to explore and create.

Ann Makosinski - Illuminating the World with Heat 

This young Canadian, Ann Makosinski, invented a flashlight powered by the heat of a human hand at the age of fifteen. Makosinski was a sixteen year old student in British Columbia when she became a finalist at the Google Science Fair, beating thousands of entries from over 100 countries!  

Her interest in harvesting surplus energy led her to researching different forms of alternative energy, and finally to devices called Peltier tiles that produce electricity when heated on one side and cooled on the other. She bought Peltier tiles on eBay and tested them to see if they could produce sufficient power to light an LED. While there was enough power, the tiles didn’t generate enough voltage. After some more research, she redesigned the circuit to boost the voltage and the circuit worked.

Another story of dedication, Ann told interviewers that she thought at some points it wouldn’t work, but that “you just kind of have to keep going.” Makosinski’s parents encouraged her passion for science and supported her by teaching her the basics of electronics and ordering parts she needed online, which played a large part in her success. Ann’s story can inspire young minds to come up with creative solutions to energy problems that the world faces today. 

Kelvin Doe - “Sierra Leone’s Kid Dynamo”

Known as Sierra Leone’s Kid Dynamo, Kelvin Doe started building mini generators from the age of eleven, and went on to build a radio station and generators that brought electricity to his neighborhood at age thirteen, benefiting his whole community!

It took multiple tries before Doe had a fully functioning prototype for the battery, using a combination of soda, acid and metal wrapped together with tape. He then launched a radio station where he was known as “Dj Focus”, playing music and sharing the news with his community. Doe told interviewers he was always a very curious person and listed off new ideas he had, including a windmill that would deliver power to his Freetown neighbors. 

By sixteen, Kelvin became a completely self-taught engineer and the youngest person in history to be invited to the “Visiting Practitioner’s Program” at MIT. His story inspires children to solve problems for their community by coming up with clever and thoughtful solutions. 

Encouraging Creativity and Innovation Within Your Child

While most of these inventions came from pre-teen or teenagers, each inventor acknowledged that following their curiosities, investigating ideas, and developing creativity at an early age was a crucial ingredient to their success. That’s why it’s so important to nurture the explorative mind at a young age!   Kid Inventor Day celebrates not only these extraordinary inventors, but also the potential within every child to dream, explore and change the world with their unique ideas. As a parent, you can ignite this potential by encouraging curiosity, answering all the “why” questions you can, creating open-ended play activities, exposing children to various experiences, promoting reading and storytelling, and allowing independence. 

Check out our Kidco At Home resource collection for ideas on creativity-sparking activities like building a lemon volcano, a backyard exploration activity, and architectural and engineering challenges such as this sponge building activity (see video here for inspiration)! We hope you can read these stories of young inventors to your child and enjoy some activities together to inspire them to explore their most inventive ideas!

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