“Children are our future” is phrase that is over used and consistently under appreciated. Young people’s ideas and feelings are often overlooked at the benefit of adults that hold their opinions high and cover their ears the moment a young person has a voice. A strong education is often limited to those with excess money or those who can acquire debt, and even that is privileged because it’s an option that many do not have. Thankfully there are young people constantly challenging stereotypes, working hard, and turning ideas into reality. The best part? Some of these kids are not even out of high school yet!
1. Eesha Khare
In 2013, while still in high school, Eesha Khare won a $50,000 grant at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, recognizing her work on a supercapacitor with the goal of charging a cell phone within one minute. The supercapacitor utilizes nanotechnology, charges quickly, and lasts for at least 10,000 cycles (about 9,000 more than an average cell phone charger). Although she admits to being a “normal” teenager, her impressive resume and portfolio suggests that her future will continue to shine.
Khare has been on guest on CNN and Conan O’ Brian as well as being sponsored by Intel and having a multitude of article features including Mashable, Huffington Post, and Business Insider, to name a few. If we don’t see her on television, I hope that we will hear about her supercapacitor’s positive progress in the near future.
2. Kenneth Shinozuka
Alzheimer’s is an unpredictable disease. Shinozuka discovered the severity of the disease firsthand when his grandfather, whom had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for years, would wander out of bed at night when everyone was sleeping. At one point, he wandered onto the freeway and had to be brought home by the police. In order to help care for his grandfather’s safety, Shinozuka created a pressure sensor that attaches to the bottom of a sock- the Alzheimer’s patient then wears the sock to bed. If they happen to leave the bed, a notification is sent to their caregiver’s phone as soon as the patient’s feet touch the ground. This can make the difference between getting help back to bed or ending up back on the freeway.
3. Kylie Simonds
At just 8 years old, Simonds was diagnosed with cancer. This meant that she would be on a daily IV Drip, shuffling around with the large IV pole. The pole limited her mobility, causing her to trip over the wires and feel uncomfortable when with friends or family. At 11, Simonds had a project to complete in school- the challenge was to invent something that could help solve an everyday problem. Simonds put together an IV backpack, allowing young patients on an IV drip to move around freely and look more normal.
Although she is the youngest on this list, Simonds has the heart of an inventor and a deep understanding of the struggles that young people with life-altering illness face. Her GoFundMe project exceeded the requested donation goal of $50,000 and she is on her way to creating a fully portable IV backpack for kids.
There’s young people all over the world creating amazing tools with technology, helping shape our future into something healthier and even more convenient.With a strong support system and resources for guidance, there isn’t much that a kid can’t do.