Necessity is said to be the mother of invention, but what about the children of invention? Or, rather, child inventors.
Children have an unique ability to look at things with fresh eyes and imagine what could be without getting bogged down in “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Alexis Lewis is a teen inventor who has twice captured the award at the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge, which is a competition open to inventors age 5 to 18 and put on by the Smithsonian that encourages the youngest inventors to think about a problem and come up with a solution to solve it.
Lewis says that her inventions have come from thinking about ways to help those in need, but also from studying the way things are now and coming up with more innovative or efficient ways to do the same things.
She credits her homeschooling upbringing, especially her mother reading to the family about world issues, but also the freedom she has to explore topics on her own and experiment with her ideas. As a result of her success she has a platform she is using to advocate for a course called Inventing 101 to be added to the curriculum in schools across the country. Like many things that are more easily mastered at a young age, the idea of keeping a mind open to creation and innovation could be the catalyst to solving to the problems of the future. If we train the inventors now, they may come into the future already armed with some solutions.
Do you know someone who invents things that solve problems? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.