Every year, national competitions award teen inventors with prize money for creating and developing useful and remarkable inventions. Teens have a fresh perspective on the world and untapped creativity that can see things in a new light. Encourage your teen to think about tasks and problems in his daily life and routine that could be addressed in better ways. Researching and creating something new might lead to a valuable invention and the next best thing.
Social media connects people to each other, builds networks and spreads news and information quickly. The founder of Facebook was still a teen when he created the website. Teens are avid social media users and can come up with ways to use these sites to meet the needs of schools, communities and businesses. They can also create new websites and applications with new ideas for how to use them. Online inventions don't take a lot of money, but require creativity and determination to do well.
Tools that make a task at home or work easier or help you save money are useful inventions. Teenagers can find things around their home and garage that could be improved with even a slight tweak. Many tools and appliances are made the same way that they have been for decades, with no change. Teens can find better ways of doing routine tasks around the house by building on old ideas to improve regular tools and appliances.
Many of the traditional ways of doing things such as making paper, building roads and homes, growing food and even how we recycle, are not environmentally friendly. Teenagers can look at the processes these take and the byproducts they produce to think of new and better ways to do these things. They may invent new methods that use different materials or recycle objects in a more efficient and cheaper way. Inventions that help protect the environment and ecosystems of the Earth are important and necessary.
Energy is needed to power everything from your smart phone to your car and home. Fossil fuels such as oil and gas are in limited supplies and traditional batteries contain minerals that are also not sustainable resources. Researching how to improve uses of solar and wind energy and make new types of batteries can lead to a valuable invention. A teenage girl in California invented a device that can charge a cellphone battery in just 20 seconds, saving electricity and time. Her potentially revolutionary invention has attracted funding and a job offer from a large technology company. How we power up our devices, run our cars and heat our homes needs much improvement and there is lots of room for new inventions in this area.