DANIEL BURD - Sped Up Plastic DecompositionPlastic isn't fantastic for Daniel Burd, a 16-year-old student in Canada who found a way to use microbes to degrade plastic bags in as little as three months. Burd, whose project won the top prize at the 2008 Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa, found that necessity invention. "Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me," he said. "One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags."
As kids, most of us spent our days playing hopscotch, toying with action figures, maneuvering Tetris blocks, and wrestling with Donkey Kong. Not these creative tykes, however! These eight amazingly innovative kids and adolescents are inventing up a storm — whether for their own personal kicks (Hibiki Kono’s wall-scaling backpack), to help their community (Kelydra Welcker’s water-filtration method), or to save the world (Javier Fernández-Han’s algae-driven super-system). Need some inspiration today? Click through our slideshow of amazing kid inventors for a look at the creative solutions the next generation is conjuring up for this one.
BEN GULAK + JASON MORROW – Built the Tango Electric Motorcycle
Ontario teenagers Ben Gulak and Jason Morrow, who were 18 in 2007, built a Segway-inspired electric motorcycle with a difference: It has no hand-steering controls. Dubbed the “Tango,” the electric vehicle moves forward, right, or left, depending on its rider’s body movements.
MAX WALLACK- Created the Home Dome
PBS Kids’ Design Squad found a winner in Max Wallack, then 12, when he invented the “Home Dome” for its Trash to Treasure competition. Composed of plastic bags filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts, the yurt-shaped structure was designed to offer temporary shelter for homeless people and disaster victims, while relieving landfills of non-biodegradable waste.