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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 


Amazing Kids! of the Month for September, 2005: 
Amazing Young Inventors; U.S.A.
 
Amazing Young Inventor Natalie Brady, age 7
Amazing Young Inventor Natalie Brady, age 7,
with her Booster Buddies invention!

Quotes of the Month

“In order to be a great inventor you must think outside the box. We’ve all heard that saying, but what does it mean? It means to be original, to use your imagination, to think of what no one has thought of before, to tread off the beaten path and create your own; people will follow.

“When you get stuck, don’t listen to your mind which is saying it can’t be done. Instead eliminate 'can't' from your mind and get it done. Above all, have fun and enjoy doing what you’re doing and you’ll succeed. Reach for the stars! And who said that the sky’s the limit? There is no limit when you believe in yourself.”

Chandler Macocha, age 14
Inventor, Wheel Chair Backpack
 

"Because inventing helped me exercise my creativity, now when I see a problem I’m able to view it in a whole new perspective."

Cassidy Goldstein, age 17
Inventor of the Crayon Holder

"The first time I rode Boogie2Boogie it felt awesome because I knew we were the first people ever to ride the waves together—and soon kids everywhere would want to do it! When you are inventing, you are doing something nobody has ever done before!"

Alyssa Hansen, age 10
co-inventor, Boogie2Boogie

"Inventing makes me wonder about how everybody has different ideas and how the world would be different if everybody worked together to make all their ideas become real inventions."

Nick Johnson, age 13
co-inventor, Boogie2Boogie

"Inventing makes me excited about finding out how to make new things work.

Amy Hansen, age 10
co-inventor, Boogie2Boogie

"Inventing makes me think about how I want things to be. Inventing makes me have an open mind."

Kaycee Johnson, age 13
co-inventor, Boogie2Boogie



Have you ever dreamed of being an inventor?  Do you have some cool ideas that you wish you could become a reality?  Then this month's  Amazing Kids! of the Month story is for you! In keeping with an Amazing Kids! tradition started back in 2000, this month we once again turn the spotlight on some amazing young inventors. 

This is our third story about kids who invent, and the stories just keep getting more and more amazing!  This time, our story not only includes profiles on some amazing new up-and-coming kid inventors, but features an Amazing Kids! of the Month Alumni Update as well, with true-to-life success stories about some of the "Amazing Young Inventors" featured previously on our website! 

Many of these ingenious kids have been patenting their products and will be (or already are!) selling them in stores, thanks to the help of a company called By Kids For Kids (http://www.bkfk.com/).  Read their story below and who knows?  Maybe you'll be inspired to invent your own product that, much like the young Bill Gates of Microsoft, or the inventors of the Internet, or the Google search engine did, will some day change the world!

And don't forget, if you, or a young person (or persons!) you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it!  Teachers are invited to nominate their entire classroom and the amazing projects they are working on too!  Simply complete our online nomination form for the Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us! 


Table of Contents 

Amazing Young Inventors
One Young Inventors Story

Amazing Kids! Alumni Update
Related Links  

Amazing Young Inventors
 
Have you ever thought of an idea that you knew would be a great invention, if only you could get someone help to you actually make it?  The kids you will read about below all started out just like that:  they had an idea, and then, with the help of their family, teachers, mentors, and people who specialize in bringing ideas to the marketplace, they were able to see their ideas become a reality!

Below you will read about some real-life amazing kid inventors and their inventions.  Be prepared to be inspired!








Natalie Brady, age 7;
Inventor of Booster Buddies at age 3 1/2


At the age of 3 ½ Natalie Brady spent a lot of time in her car booster seat while traveling with her parents.

She saw a problem... She needed a pillow to help her go to sleep in the seat but the pillow kept falling out of her reach.

She had an idea...To make a pillow that would fasten to the
car seat so it wouldn’t fall and would be in a shape that was fun and would help her sleep.

She developed it...With the help of her mother, Natalie came up with the Booster Buddies. They are brightly colored, animal shaped pillows that fasten to the car seat to hold them in place and are fun to sleep with

Her idea was a hit...The Booster Buddies have been sold in
retail and on the Internet and Natalie has told her story on TV and in newspapers!






Alyssa & Amy Hansen, ages 10 and 13, and
Nick & Kaycee Johnsen,
ages 10 and 13;
Inventors of Boogie2Boogie at ages 10 and 12





Amazing Kid Inventors of Boogie2Boogie

Kaycee Johnsen and Alyssa Hansen, both 10, and Nick Johnsen and Amy Hansen, both 12, thought that children’s body boards,
commonly known as Boogie Boards, were not well designed for kids. They decided to design a better version that was kid friendly.

They saw a problem...There were no body boards that were designed particularly for kids. Older riders ride on the face of waves, farther out from the shore. Kids enjoy body boarding the breakers, the “white water,” near the shore. Kids needed a body board that is made specifically for riding that kind of wave, focusing on riding in the breakers near the shore—where kids like to ride!

They had an idea...To create a Boogie Board that had a functional shape, that was fun to use and appealed to kids. They enjoyed “surfing” together and came up with a connector to attach to each board to the other so they could ride in tandem. Also, for parents who wanted a way of getting children’s attention when it was time to come in, the kids came up with a remote signaling device so that parents could signal them from shore.

They developed it...The kids came up with the boomerang shaped design which was both fun and aerodynamic. Their parents along with local body boarding professionals helped them as they built a prototype out of Polyethylene, rubber leashes and Velcro.



Matthew Ballick & Justin Lewis, ages 14 and 15; Inventors of FLIP-ITZ at age 8



Amazing Kid Inventors Matthew Ballick and Justin Lewis

At age 8, while at a youth basketball banquet, Matthew Ballick and Justin Lewis were getting bored, so they started playing with the lid
supports from the pizzas that were ordered for a party. Soon, every kid and parent in the room was flipping them everywhere and the boys decided this would be a great toy.

They had an idea...Why not use the lids to make a toy that is fun & easy to play with, collectable, easy game to take with you, portable, can be developed and packaged in themes and with favorite character designs and that uses children’s imagination and creativity.

They developed it...The boys used a similar design to the plastic lid supports and added various colors and designs to it and they produced FLIP-ITZ.

Their idea was a hit and a winner…FLIP-ITZ was in over 1,500 independent gift shops including Zany Brainy and Learning Express prior to their licensee closing their doors in 2003. FLIP-ITZ and the boys were featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2001 and several other newspapers across the country. The boys were also invited to be on the Early Show and the Today Show and featured in a children's magazine called Scholastic News, which is given to over one million school children!





Jerrilee Geist, age 10;
Inventor of Swipe It! at age 9



Amazing Kid Inventor Jerrilee Geist

At 9, Jerrilee Geist wanted to create a special birthday gift for her older sister who loved word games. She
wanted it to be the best game ever!

She saw a problem...How could she create a game that was new and fun? What type of game would involve words and be challenging?

She had an idea...To somehow combine the best elements of both word and card games in a fast paced spelling game.

She developed it...With the help of her mother, Jerrilee brainstormed ideas and developed Speed Spell, a fast-paced game of spelling and vocabulary. Speed Spell is a game in which the players race to complete words from multiple letter groups building from the inside out. The more words you complete, or steal, the more points you earn. The more cards left in your hand when someone goes out, the more points you lose. The rules contain several versions, and it can be played cooperatively or competitively, and in fact, it naturally has some of each built in.

Her idea was a hit…All of Jerrilee’s friends and family enjoy playing the game. She is setting up Speed Spell Tournaments in schools across the country and making herself available to do Meet the Creator assemblies in Bay Area schools!







Cassidy Goldstein, age 17;
Inventor of Crayon Holders at age 11
Amazing Kid Inventor Cassidy Goldstein

At age 11, after struggling to use broken crayons, Cassidy Goldstein
invented a device to hold the crayons and make it easier for her to draw.

She saw a problem...Crayons break easily and become hard to manage in small pieces. Kids throw away their used crayons when they get too small to hold. Kids end up needing a whole new box of crayons for one color.

She had an idea...To create a device that would hold the crayon and give the user something bigger to hang onto, enabling them to use their broken crayons rather than throwing them away.

She developed it...Inspired by the plastic tubes used to keep roses fresh while being transported, Cassidy created a holder that would grab the small pieces of crayon. She experimented with various materials to make it work. Ultimately she designed a device that would grab the crayon securely regardless of its size.

Her idea was a hit and a winner…She became a Student Board Member of the National Gallery for America’s Young Inventors, she has a 3-year License agreement to manufacture and sell her product, and she has been featured in various newspapers, magazines and television programs discussing her product. Her Crayon Holder is now available in Wal-Mart!





Justin “Justy” Euliano, age 17;
Inventor of Aim 'N Fish at age 16

Amazing Kid Inventor Justin Euliano's Aim 'N Fish invention

Amazing Kid Inventor Justin Euliano

Justin Euliano loved to fish as a kid but he had difficulty with casting.

He saw a problem...One day while fishing under some trees he noticed all the tangled hooks and bobbins in the tree above his head. He thought it would be fun if there was an easier and safer way to cast a fishing line. He realized that all young anglers had problems casting with frustration of tangled lines and hooks that get stuck in unexpected places. Why couldn't you just aim your rod to where you wanted the hook to go? Fishing adventures often got cut short.

He had an idea...He set out to create a new fishing rod that would cast for you.

He developed it...He came up with a compact, fish-shaped rod and reel enhanced with an interior mechanism that could shoot the line out into the water 10-30 feet with the simple press of the trigger. No more flinging the rod and hook behind the head to cast. Justin designed his Aim 'N Fish specifically for kids to use who are between the ages of 3-12 years.

His idea was a hit and a winner…Justin recently won the 2005 Chester Award winner in the By Kids For Kids Xerox National Invention Competition!



Scott Barnhill, age 13;
Inventor of Security One Card at age 9




Amazing Kid Inventor Scott Barnhill

At age 9, Scott was searching for the key card to get into his family’s hotel
room. In order to find it he had to sort through all of the credit cards in his father’s wallet to find the right card for the hotel.

He saw a problem...That there was a different plastic card for everything from airline mileage clubs to YMCA memberships to hotel room keys to movie rental stores. Even in school he had an I.D. card, a bookstore card and a door entry card.

He had an idea...Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just add a new magnetic strip to one card, when you needed instead of having a new card for everything?

He developed it...He designed a magnetic card system whereby a retail store or hotel could add an additional magnetic strip to an already existing plastic card of the user’s choice. The additional strip would contain the information for that store/hotel only.

His idea was a hit and a winner…He won the 2004 LeTourneau University Invention & Design Contest, he was named 2004 “Innovator of the Year” by the Maryland Daily Record, and he won the 2003 Student Ideas for a Better America Competition. Scott has appeared on several television news programs.



Chandler Mococha, age 14;
Inventor of 
Wheelchair Backpack Swivel at age 12


Amazing Kid Inventor Chandler Mococha's Wheelchair Backpack Swivel invention


Amazing Kid Inventor Chandler Mococha

At age 12, Chandler saw his neighbor who is in a wheelchair
struggling to get her belongings out of her backpack hanging on the back of her wheelchair.

He saw a problem...Both disabled kids and adults who are confined to wheelchairs have this same problem. This is frustrating and forces them to always rely on help from others when in fact they are striving for independence.

He had an idea...Chandler came up with the idea for his Wheelchair Backpack Swivel which aids wheelchair bound persons in retrieving their back pack or bag from the back of their wheelchair.

He developed it...He came up with a brilliant prototype made of steel tube, elbow fittings, springs, nuts and bolts. This brings a sense of independence and control to those who are completely dependent on a chair and the people around them.

His idea was a hit and a winner…Some of Chandler's accomplishments as a result of his invention include:
  • Winner of the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Contest
  • Inducted into the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors
  • Winner of the DaVinci Award for designing for accessibility
  • Received endorsements from medical equipment industry experts
The above information was reprinted with permission from By Kids For Kids.

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One Young Inventor's Story

"Hello, my name is Justin Euliano and I invented the Aim ‘N Fish. 

"I invented the Aim ‘N Fish when I was 10 years old.  I went fishing with my dad; the best fishing spot we could find was under low hanging trees.  The trees were decorated with rigs, hooks, lines and bobbins.  After my first cast my bobbin became the newest addition to the trees decoration.  I said to my dad: 'Wouldn’t it be great if I could just aim and shoot my bobbin right where I want to fish, avoiding the trees and the danger of hooking someone?'

"So the challenge began.  First I looked to buy a spring action dart gun, after purchasing it I took the reel off my fishing pole and placed it on top of the plastic toy dart gun.  I used black duct tape to hold the two together.  Then I used crazy glue to glue a plastic red and white bobbin to the end of one of the darts.  I then put my fishing line and hook at the end of the bobbin.  I really didn’t want it to look like a gun, so I came up with the idea to make it look like a fish.  Wood shaped like a fish was used to cover up the plastic dart gun.  I would like to color it so it really resembles a fish. Eventually I would like to have different adjustments on the spring tension so you can shoot the hook as close or as far as you want. 

"Then came the 'reel' test, I had to see if it worked.  It sure did; I caught many fish!  While on a Boy Scout fishing trip there were about 20 boys all packed onto one small dock; it was a disaster waiting to happen.  With the long bamboo poles, kids were hooked, and lines were tangled.  I remember saying to my dad: 'Imagine if everyone had my Aim 'N Fish it would be so much safer and a whole lot of fun!'”


By Justin Euliano, age 17
Inventor of Aim 'N Fish

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Amazing Kids! Alumni Update

Back in 2000, Amazing Kids! did our very first Amazing Young Inventors story.  Here is an update about some of the kids we featured.  What are they doing now?  What happened to their invention?   Read on to find out!


Austin Meggitt, age 17; Inventor of the Glove and Battie Caddie at age 10

Amazing Young Inventor Austin Meggitt


When we first featured our Amazing Kids! of the Month story about amazing Austin in 2000, he had won a national contest called the "Ultimate Invention Contest" for his Glove and Battie Caddie (pictured above).  At that time, he had just applied for a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov/), was inducted into the
National Gallery for America's Young Inventors at the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in Akron, Ohio, and had appeared on several television news programs

We are delighted to report that Austin now has his patent, and his invention has been manufactured and is being sold in stores!

Here is a link to our original story about Austin:  www.amazing-kids.org/kids3-00austin.htm#austin




Lisa Wright, age 18; Inventor of the "Auto-Off" (or "Wright") Candle at age 13

Amazing Young Inventor, Lisa Wright


Lisa's invention is a self-timing candle, that can be set to "turn itself off" at a specific time interval.  When we first featured the Amazing Young Inventors story about Lisa, she had won the Student Ideas for a Better America in 2000.

Since that time, Lisa appeared on several tv news shows and was inducted into the
National Gallery for America's Young Inventors at the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in Akron, Ohio and received a provisional patent for her invention.

Here is a link to our original story about Lisa:  www.amazing-kids.org/kids3-00lisa.htm#lisa



Brandon Whale, age 15; Inventor of the Needle Beetle at age 9


Amazing Young Inventor, Brandon Whale, age 15
Brandon Whale's Needle Beetle

Brandon's Needle Beetle is a device that makes getting shots easier for kids and that helped medical personnel administer injections. It is a squeeze device shaped like a Beetle that not only raises the vein for the doctor or nurse but also distracts the child’s attention to ease the pain and fear.

Since we first featured Brandon, he has appeared on television several times, including on Discovery Kids.  His Needle Beetle is being used at Winthrop University Hospital and Kids Cancer Center.


Here is a link to our original story about Brandon:  www.amazing-kids.org/kids3-00whalebros.htm#whalebros



Spencer Whale, age 12; Inventor of the KidKare Riding Car at age 6

Spencer Whale, Amazing Young Inventor, age 12

KidKare Riding Car

Spencer's KidKare Riding Car was designed specifically for young patients at children's hospitals.  The car has an attached pole which holds a patient's IV, so kids could play freely and parents wouldn't have to run behind their child's riding car holding their child's IVs.

In our original story about Spencer, (who, by the way, is Brandon Whale's younger brother!), he had
won the 1999 Student Ideas for a Better America Competition for his KidKare Riding Car invention, had placed first in a Regional Invention Convention in 2000, and had just been inducted into the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors (the youngest person at the time ever to be inducted!)

Since our first story about Spencer in 2000, he won the Jimmy Neutron Generation Genius Young Inventors Contest in 2003.

Here is a link to our original story about Spencer:  www.amazing-kids.org/kids3-00whalebros.htm#whalebros


Congratulations to all of these amazing young inventors!



Calling all (kid) inventors!

Do
you have an idea for an invention?  Or do you already have a product you've invented selling in stores? Do you you have an idea that might just help change the world or improve the lives of others?  Or one that could be the next hot product?   We want to hear from you!  Send us an email and who knows? You could be featured as one of the next Amazing Young Inventors in a future Amazing Kids! of the Month story!



Related Links:

Amazing Young Inventors - Part I (Amazing Kids! of the Month, March, 2000):
 www.amazing-kids.org/kids3-00.htm#inventors

Amazing Young Toy Inventors (Amazing Kids! of the Month, January, 2002):
www.amazing-kids.org/akom1-02.htm#inventors

Famous Kid Inventors:  www.bkfk.com/inventions/kidinventors.asp

How to Invent:  www.bkfk.com/howtoinvent/

Links to Resources on Inventing:  www.bkfk.com/pedia/

By Kids For Kids website:  http://www.bkfk.com/

National Gallery for America's Young Inventors (on the Partnership for America's Future website)www.pafinc.com/gallery/index.htm

Patent Cafe website:  http://www.patentcafe.com/

Inventors and inventing at About.com:  inventors.about.com/

Lemelson-MIT Program:  web.mit.edu/invent/index.html
Celebrating invention and innovation.

United States Patent and Trademark Office:  www.uspto.gov/

The Tech Museum of Innovation; San Jose, California
Visit them online, or in person, for inspiration and ideas:  www.thetech.org

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!



Here's an idea you might want to try:

WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?

If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: info@amazing-kids.org

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD:

  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!

 

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