Hi, I am Elizabeth and I am a kid inventor. One of my inventions, the Water Watcher, is a device that hooks up to your shower head or faucet and beeps every time a gallon of water comes out. It helps remind people of how much water they are wasting and reminds them to finish up quickly.
When I was in the shower thinking about how many gallons of water I was wasting, I knew I had a problem. I had learned from my science class that if you shorten your shower by just one minute you can save about 1,000 gallons of water a year. Not only do my friends, family and I take long showers but most people in the world do too. You know how the hot water feels, how relaxing it is, how you doze off, and don't want to even think about getting out. After I identified this problem, I brainstormed ideas about how to fix it, and the Water Watcher was my solution. I entered my idea into BKFK's competition, The Going Green Challenge, where I won first place at the national level.
After the competition I decided to get a prototype made because I wanted an actual working device to show my idea. This was a challenge because I had to change some of my designs in order for the Water Watcher to be put together and work. Making your own idea come to life does not always have to be complicated. You could build a replica of what your idea might look like, and design and research how you might build it. Then, if you really want it made, you could show your designs and research to professionals and they could build it for you.
Even if you do not want to make a prototype you should always write your ideas down. I have my own book at home where I write down all of my ideas with a summary explaining it, the date, and a quick sketch. It is important to do this because then you always know when you came up with the idea, and you can look back at all your ideas. You can also refer back to your book whenever a new contest comes up to see if any of your previous ideas work for the contest category.
To all you new inventors, stick with your ideas and do not get discouraged by anything! Maybe you can't build your invention yourself or at a local mechanics shop, but maybe people in NASA could. It could be the idea of the century! So, never ever think your ideas are lame or impossible because one day that idea could save the world.
— Elizabeth Rintels, Kid Inventor
Elizabeth won the 2008 BKFK Going Green Challenge for her idea the Water Watcher. She received a prize of $10,000 and a tour of the offices of 1Sky in Maryland. 1Sky is a highly collaborative national campaign in the United States catalyzing a society-wide movement in support of bold federal action to tackle global warming. Elizabeth hopes her invention will keep everyone more conscientious about just how much water they use up in their everyday lives.