Prepare to be blown away on Kid Inventor's Day. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin invented flippers at the age of 11? Today, on Franklin's birthday, we are talking about young guns who are flipping the script with their incredible modern inventions. Brace yourselves for these modern maestros who are changing the game.


Meet Shanya Gill, a dynamic 12-year-old inventor from California. Shanya's journey began when a nearby restaurant tragically burned down due to a delayed fire detection system, sparking her determination to make a difference. Shanya's ingenious solution? A 'fast and affordable' fire-detection device that outpaces traditional smoke detectors. The system she programmed can distinguish between warm, moving objects (aka humans) and hot, stationary objects (like an active gas burner). If it detects a heat source without any human presence for a continuous 10-minute period, it shoots out a text message alert. Shanya's brilliance scored her the grand prize – a cool $25,000 Thermo Fisher Scientific ASCEND Award.


In 2023, Richard Turere, a 22-year old inventor from Kenya, won the European Young Inventor award for Lion Lights, an affordable light system to save both livestock and predators. Lions were wreaking havoc on his family's cattle and they were losing as many as nine cows a week. At the age of 11, inspiration struck when he noticed that flashlights kept the lions back. Richard created a solar powered, LED flashing light system to mimic human movement therefore deterring the lions. His invention prevents human-wildlife conflict and is helping to boost the lion population in Kenya. Homes in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Argentina, and India are now using Richard's invention to keep their surroundings safe from wildlife.


At the young age of 17, Ellen Xu dove headfirst into the world of machine learning and image analysis. Ellen’s younger sister, Kate, was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease (KD), the leading cause of acquired heart disease in young kids, at the age of five after originally being told it was the flu. Ellen wanted to understand and streamline the diagnosis process. Diagnosing KD includes five signs that can easily get mixed up with other diseases. Ellen built a convolutional neural network trained with images from the internet and KD parents, making sure her model could spot the difference between KD and its lookalike diseases. Ellen's model can distinguish between kids with and without KD clinical signs using just a smartphone photo with 85% accuracy. She was awarded $150k from Society for Science’s 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search.

These inventors are dropping jaws, proving age is just a number. This Kid Inventor's Day, let's take a cue from these game-changers. Who knows, the next big thing might be brewing Gen Alpha’s mind.