15-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka followed in the footsteps of many great inventors when he looked at a problem near to his heart and was spurred to action. He is a fine example of real-world problem finding in the face of a situation that could have seemed overwhelming.
Studying Kenneth’s example, and then considering the problems around them, could provide students with a lesson in problem-finding, and maybe the inspiration for further inventions. Students could be challenged to consider what led Kenneth to his investigations, and then to look at their own lives for problems that need solutions. Perhaps your students’ inventions won’t be as technically advanced as Kenneth’s—or maybe they will. What spurs students to push past their perceived limits more than a problem they really care about?
For his efforts, Kenneth won the Scientific American Science in Action Award at the 2014 Google Science Fair, an astounding collection of worldwide creativity in young inventors. You can read more about Kenneth’s invention here, or sign up to learn more about Google Science Fair 2015 here. You’ll be inspired!