National Kid Inventors’ Day is hands-down one of our favorite fun holidays on the calendar. January 17th is dedicated to encouraging the innovative spirit in young people across the country, and we could not be more on board.
Of course, young people have brilliant ideas and create awesome things 365 days a year, but we’re delighted to give them extra spotlight.
Why? When kids think outside the box, it’s amazing what they can achieve, and that's what this holiday is all about!
Not to mention that the day has a very famous founder as its inspiration. Hint: before discovering electricity, this person invented the predecessor of flippers at age 11.
You guessed it: National Kid Inventor day was inspired by inventor legend Benjamin Franklin, as January 17th is also his birthday.
While some of his better known inventions (bifocals, electricity, the Franklin stove etc.) were still to come in later in his life, there’s no question that the curiosity of his childhood sparked --literally sparked-- a drive to discover.
What is National Kid Inventors' Day?
Fast forward to today: we commemorate Benjamin Franklin's legacy by taking a moment to encourage kids around the country to follow in his footsteps.
Thankfully for all of us, Benjamin Franklin is not alone in the kid-inventors club. Did you know, for instance, that braille, popsicles, and the snowmobile were all invented by children? To boot, the world would certainly be a colder, more joyless place without earmuffs or the trampoline.
In our book, these game-changing inventions demonstrate how important it is to encourage kids to test out their ideas and dream big...
Even if the effort doesn’t lead to the creation of, say, everyday staples like the popsicle or essential global tools like braille, intellectual inquisitiveness must be nurtured from an early age.
There’s no telling where that experience and practice might lead!
A few kid inventors to know (and former iD Tech campers!)
STEM is just one of many fields in which young people can experiment, connect areas of personal interest, and ask big questions.
So, in honor of National Kid Inventors’ day, here are few of the amazing individuals who experienced our programs and went on to innovate in major ways.
Remember—invention takes endless shapes and forms; check out these real stories young creators and innovators!
Meet Avi, Creator of lauded COVID-19 and vaccine tracking website
Avi was 17 when he created a website that would swiftly become a global resource. That site was praised as “one of the most vital resources for people seeking accurate and updated numbers on the pandemic,” and has attracted hundreds of millions of visitors.
Avi's site stands out as a primary source for those wanting to learn more about deaths, number of cases, and importantly, the number of people who have recovered and/ or are now vaccinated, along with an interactive map and other real-time, up-to-the-minute info.
And while the site is sophisticated and popular, Avi's ultimate goal was to leverage technology in order to help people in the midst of a global pandemic.
“I didn't really expect this website to become so big, but now I guess you can say it’s a humanitarian effort; I really like doing positive things for the world with technology, and it’s really cool we’re at the point where technology can be used for so many interesting things,” said Avi.
In the true innovator’s spirit, Avi isn’t looking to be the “next” anything; he’s ready to bring something completely new to the table.
“I’d like to become the next Avi Schiffmann; I wanna make my own stuff. You know, the next Mark Zuckerberg isn’t going to make a social network, I want to make my own thing—I just want to make tons of really cool stuff.”
I know I can speak for the entire iD Tech family when I say we can’t wait to see his next invention! Read our full interview with Avi here.
Meet Rebecca, Founder of CoderDojo NYC
Rebecca, who now works as a Developer Evangelist at Squarespace, is a "Champion Of Change," and was honored by the White House for her many activities advocating for girls and youth in tech.
She is the founder of nonprofit CoderDojo NYC, an organization dedicated to inclusion and diversity in youth technology education.
Rebecca has come a long way from her days as an iD Tech camper. On her journey, she has used her experiences and enthusiasm for technology to empower others.
“I'm passionate about empowering other people to see technology as a creative tool to build their dreams. I was inspired by seeing just what people (both young and old) can do with a nudge in the right direction. I don't believe that everyone needs to become a programmer or engineer, but rather that technology is a great skill to have,” said Rebecca.
Since she created the organization in 2012, CoderDojo has grown to reach over 1,400 families in the greater New York area each year. Her organization also reflects 50:50 gender parity, a standard that the tech industry at large is far from meeting. But with more efforts like CoderDojo, equitable representation becomes more and more attainable.
When we think about how many individuals Rebecca has impacted and the real ways she is changing the world for good, we are truly in awe. Not only did she embody the spirit of National Kid Inventors’ Day, she surely has inspired others to follow in her footsteps or chart their own course.
Read Rebecca’s full profile here!
Meet Cameron, app guru and philanthropist
To use Cameron’s words, “I always liked programming, but after attending iD Tech and meeting other kids who also enjoyed programming, I wanted to take my skills and interests to the next level."
He has certainly done that and positively impacted so many individuals as a result.
Using the skills he developed at iD Tech Camps and Coding Academy, Cameron has created several highly successful apps..
Through his inventions, Cameron earned enough to donate $30,000 in proceeds to children's hospitals and other worthy causes. How many teens would do that? I think that says a lot about Cameron and how he’s harnessing the power of technology for good.
As a result of his generous contributions, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA presented him with their Innovator Award, and , naturally, he's earned the lifelong admiration of his many fans at iD Tech.
Ways to celebrate National Kid Inventors’ Day
In terms of celebrating National Kid Inventors' Day, reading the inspirational stories of Avi, Samantha, and Cameron is certainly a start! Their hard work shows what’s possible, and it’s our hope that the next generation embodies their inventor’s drive.
Here are a few other ways to make January 17th innovative and fun:
- Take a virtual field trip to draw inspiration from the real world!
- Learn about patents and what it takes to become a bona fide inventor.
- Invent a game!—a great way to get creative and shake up family game night.
- Do a STEM activity to get the juices flowing.
- Learn to code: there’s no question the next 20 years of inventions will have their fair share of programming behind the scenes.
If your child has awesome ideas and could use help getting started, iD Tech would love to help them and get them on paths like Samantha, Cameron, and Avi’s! Check out our course catalogue of Online Private Lessons and 12-Week Semesters to get inventive today!