We’re so excited and happy to announce the winners of our inaugural summer “I Have an Idea!” Youth Innovation Challenge hosted in partnership with the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame and the Florida High Tech Corridor. Earlier this summer, we asked students in two age categories, Elementary and Middle/High School , to come up with a solution for some challenge they encountered in their everyday lives. Specifically, we asked students:
What bugs you? What challenge do you routinely come up against in your life at school, at home, at work or at play? Is it a problem for others, too? If you had the chance to solve that problem, how would you do it? Would you create a new product? A service? A method? Do you think your challenge is enough of a problem for others that they might be interested in trying your solution?
Judging was provided by Florida High Tech Corridor. Here’s what our winners came up with, along with some of the judges feedback on their solutions.
Grand Prize Winner
The Fun With Playgrounds solution comes to us from elementary school level FIRST LEGO League team #48351, the Distributed Processors.
The Problem: Playground equipment does not always get used to its full potential because children can get bored as they grow older, especially if they only know one way to use it.
The Solution: FunWithPlaygrounds places durable and nice looking placards on or near playground equipment in parks that shows fun and inventive exercises and games to do with playground equipment. To ensure that the exercises and games stay relevant, the placards will have QR codes on them that link to our website for latest ideas to explore. We can always add new and improved exercises and games for people to play via the web-site. We plan to use a crowd-sourcing concept for producing a steady stream of new ideas.
Here’s some of the Judges’ Feedback on this first place winning project:
- Great job on research and talking to a variety of people and potential users for feedback.
- Very interesting problem that I didn’t recognize as a problem. That’s often the case that we just “live with the problem” and it becomes hidden in plain sight. Very insightful to see the problem
- Super-innovative approach to solving it.
- Using QR Codes is a GREAT way to easily update ideas for play without having to change out signs. And judges REALLY like using crowdsourcing to get even MORE ideas. That’s awesome. It brings out the creativity of the user which can really build your brand and keep kids coming back for more. That will help prevent becoming obsolete—constant updates. Well done.
- The video is tremendous. Highlights the problem. Shows the solution. And it makes us curious enough to go find a playground with your signs!
- We loved the fact that you used focus groups. That’s a great way to get info.
1st Runner Up : Bio-Bin
Bio-Bin was entered by Aanya B.., in the Middel/High School level category.
The Problem: How can overflowing trash cans be detected to minimize loose trash in an area?
The Solution: Bio-Bin is a device that is set on top of a trashcan to monitor the inner environment. Bio-Bin offers 4 unique sensors, an app, and a bluetooth connection to a device for a wireless connection.Bio-Bin works well for individual consumers and small trash cans that need waste management. The app that accompanies Bio-Bin provides consumers with live readings and alerts consumers when any of the sensors are triggered. This allows for consumers to have no need to monitor trash can levels (or check to see if it’s on fire, etc.) and enjoy their event or activity freely
Here’s some of the judges feedback on this great project:
- We think this is a great idea, although there might be some roadblocks with getting sanitation departments to pick up cans anytime they are full, rather then on a prescribed schedule.
- You’ve identified a real-world problem that needs solving now. Well done.
- We like that you’ve done very thorough research as to the root cause of the problem of trash in our oceans—overflowing bins. This is important because if you don’t take time to find the root cause, you may be chasing only symptoms and not going after root cause to solve the problem once and for all.
- We like the fact that your sensor is separate from the can itself (not integrated). As you highlight, this gives you a chance to upgrade easily at lower cost.
- We think your focus on only a few things to monitor is good. Trying to monitor too many things will make things more expensive and probably less attractive to users.
- We like that your solution saves monitoring time because it alerts the user when something needs to be done. That way you don’t waste time checking cans that don’t need checking.
- We especially like your test program that you did to check the functionality of your sensors. Testing is important.
2nd Runner Up: Phishing Blocker
Created by Vyom B., and entered in the middle/high school level category, this solution tackles the problem of phishing.
The Problem: During COVID when everything went virtual, a major threat has been faced by the human mankind “Phishing links seeking personal information.” This is a big challenge for kids and especially seniors as they are suddenly exposed to the IT world and they need to use all services online.
The Solution: A phishing blocker that will check links to see if they are phishing or not.
Here’s some of the judges feedback
- You’ve identified a very serious problem. And we agree with you that it is especially severe with COVID since a lot more things are online.
- You did a great job of using existing information technology resources out there like GITHUB. As you stated, GITHUB is open-source which means it keeps your costs down.
- One question to ask yourself: What makes your product unique? Stated differently, why would I buy yours over someone else’s?
Our heartiest congratulations to all three winners! There will be a private awards ceremony and each winner will receive:
- An award certificate and gift cards ($75, $50 and $25)
- Consulting opportunity at AMROC and with local inventors for guidance on bringing their ideas to life
- An opportunity to share their inventions in the AMRoC Showcase Kiosk in front of the Fab Lab and
- Exhibit space at ROBOTICON in October
Please join us, the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame and the Florida High Tech Corridor in celebrating these great young innovators!
We hope to see YOUR ideas in next summer’s Young Innovators Challenge!