When I was 11, all I was trying to figure out was how Gilligan was going to get off of the island. While this reference is sure to be lost on any 11-year-olds (and many 30-year-olds) alive today, this confession serves to show the kind of deep thought I engaged in during my pre-adolescent years. Thinking back on how I thought then makes thinking about the thinking of an 11-year-old Texan recently in the news even more impressive.
Sees a Problem – Solves the Problem
Bishop Curry is a fifth grader in the North Texas town of McKinney. He has always been fascinated with making and thinking of ways to solve problems. He has created both a homemade catapult and a ping pong ball cannon and has spent time coming up with ideas to do things like melting ice and snow on roads without using salt. But when a tragedy struck close to home, his always active brain kicked into overdrive.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, in the past 20 years over 600 children have died of heatstroke after being left inside cars. Some of the cases involved children who were playing unattended in a car and got locked inside and, sadly, others involved being left with intent by an adult. However, more than half were “forgotten” by a caregiver. A six-month-old in Bishop’s neighborhood died in a car, and young Mr. Curry went to work.
His design begins with a fan directed toward the infant in the seat. The fan is activated when the car is parked, and the temperature of the car’s interior reaches a certain level, provided that the weight sensor in the seat indicates the presence of the child. Once the fan is activated, the driver of the car will be notified via a telephone app that the child has been left behind. As an additional failsafe, if the child is not removed, local authorities will be alerted with the GPS coordinates of the car. He has named his invention “Oasis.”
You Can Lend the Young Genius a Hand
When Bishop showed his dad his design, he was rightfully impressed and so were his bosses when he took it to work. Bishop Curry Sr. works for Toyota. They immediately arranged for father and son to attend a national safety conference where they had the opportunity to present Bishop’s invention to several leaders in the child safety industry. After they had seen the enthusiasm that others had about the invention, they applied for a provisional patent to go along with Bishop’s 3-D model.
As with most everything in life, the next step requires money. The Curry’s have set up a GoFundMe campaign, and the support has been impressive. There are many costs associated with bringing a product to market including attorney fees, final patents, costs of prototyping and the expenses involved in the process to identify potential manufacturers. You can help further the effort by visiting the Curry’s campaign page.