Having an environmentally-friendly project or idea come to life is something that numerous people, from all around the world, hope to accomplish at some point in their lives. These particular projects, however, have been brought to life by today’s youth. These are not people who have gone through college, or spent years on end doing an in-depth, scientific study in one particular field or another. These are kids, like your kid and my kid, who had an idea on how to make some aspect of the world just a little bit more environmentally-friendly and did not stop until they brought it to life.
Do not take my word for it, though. Take a look at these innovative kids and see what you think. In my humble opinion, they are truly inspiring!
- This 17-year-old won $100,000 for her bedroom biofuel laboratory, where she has been working on developing algae that will create biofuels more efficiently. You got that she is doing this from her bedroom, right?!
- Meghan Shea, an 18-year-old high school student, from Pennsylvania recently became a 2013 Intel Science Talent Search finalist with her invention of a relatively cost-effective water filtration method. Although more research is required, Meghan’s invention was shown to reduce E. coli bacteria in water by up to 99%.
- Then there is this incredible Kenyan teen who invented solar-powered ‘Lion Lights’ that save both predators and prey. Keep in mind he is only 13-years-old!
- These Israeli teens are bottling algae as part of a superfood project geared to feed a hungry Africa. Not a bad idea, especially considering the fact that algae has an estimated 70% protein in it. They aren’t planning on stopping there either. In fact, they are hoping to introduce their invention to the world market within a year.
- This one is a win-win invention, as not only are these Wilmington kids working to save endangered animals, they are doing it by creatively educating people on the benefits of recycling. Check out how their “little” art project is making a big difference.
- Turning our attention to the very real problem of plastic polluting oceans around the world, this 19-year-old student designed an ocean cleanup array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic from the world’s oceans. Not a small feat.
- This next project involves the building of a teeny, tiny house. The main difference between this house and others before it, is that this tiny house is being built for, and by, a middle school student. After raising more than $1,500 through Indiegogo to help fund her project, she is not only being environmentally-friendly with the size of her new home, but she is including green elements as well, her favorite of which is a sawdust composting toilet. (I’d say this 12-year-old girl puts it best when she says she is planning to “be number #1 in the business of #2”.)
- This is quite an inspirational story. It is about a group of fourth graders, from North Carolina, who decided they would take it upon themselves to crowdfund their own solar-powered classroom. While they originally hoped to get $800 (through Kickstarter), as of the last time I checked, they have already raised more than $5800. That’s quite an accomplishment, don’t you agree? Way to go Aaron Sebens and his fourth-grade class!
- Who better to educate kids on the importance of recycling than other kids? Just ask the kids involved in the Friends of Deckers Creek Youth Advisory Board and they’ll tell you. In fact, this group of school kids has been so successful that they are taking their recycling education program to more than 11 schools in their district in order to educate other kids and “make it cool” to recycle.
- Last on my list, but definitely not least is this eco fridge, invented by two 16-year-old high school students from Jordan, that requires zero electricity to operate. Now that’s quite an invention all on its own, but to be able to have such a resource when you live in an extremely hot, desert climate, that is something which could prove to be completely invaluable.
Each of these ideas, projects, and inventions are pretty awesome in my book, but the fact that they were brought to life by today’s youth makes them that much better. It is really encouraging to see the efforts being made by kids, all over the world, to make a difference, make a change and do something about the situations they see and experience every single day. It simply goes to show what people, regardless of their age, can do when they put their minds to it.
School image courtesy of our friends at Sherman Carter Barnhart, PSC