Young Inventors and Technology Wizards: Introducing the Paradigm Challenge Kids

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Mastering technologies like Arduino, NLU Cloud, and 3D printers to create live-saving inventions is all part of a day's work for the 7-18 year old winners of The Paradigm Challenge. Each year, The Paradigm Challenge awards $200,000 in cash to students and teachers.

Paradigm Challenge Winners

Students can invent and make a difference in the world.

The use of technology to create life-saving inventions is kids' play, or at least so believe the students who placed in the top 100 (out of more than 50,000 participants) in The Paradigm Challenge. "The students use technologies like Arduino, NLU Cloud, Autodesk, Orange Pi, and 3D printers as if they are as simple and accessible as LEGO bricks," noted Paradigm Challenge Technology Officer Alex Sanchez. "Clearly, they are getting the message from their teachers and in their classrooms that students can invent and make a difference in the world."

The Paradigm Challenge is an international competition that invites students aged 4 to 18 to use kindness, creativity, collaboration, and STEM skills to solve a real-world problem. The problem to be solved for the first year of the Challenge was how to reduce injuries and fatalities from home fires.

Second place winner (11-14 age division) Pranshu Suri, from Pennsylvania, chose to approach this problem by inventing the "iMask," a "smart" smoke mask that uses fire resistant materials and technology. Suri integrated sensors and a micro circuit board into the mask.

Finalist Alexis Lewis, from North Carolina, also addressed the danger of smoke inhalation during home fires. She invented an "Emergency Mask Pod" system for delivering smoke masks to people trapped in the upper stories of burning buildings. She designed the EMPod using Autodesk's Tinkercad software and then printed it with a Makerbot 3D printer. "Tinkercad is free and easy," said Lewis, adding, "3D printers are not only fun, they are simple to use."

Finalist Mark Uzhhorod, from the Ukraine, used a wide range of technologies to build his "Fire Aware Home Robot." Not only did Uzhhorod use commonly-known technologies such as Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms, Orange Pi, and National Instruments' NI myRio, he also used NLU Cloud, which enables the robot to talk with humans.

Arduino also was used by the first-place winners in the 11-14 age division to invent their revolutionary fire detection, evacuation, and control system. They also became experts at using collaboration software, as the team hailed from two different countries over 7,000 miles apart. Tulsi and Om Lathia, from New Zealand, used Google Hangout, Skype, and Google Docs to communicate with team members Shubhanshi and Hitanshi Gaudani from India. The team had a great time seeing each other face-to-face during the fun-filled Paradigm Challenge awards weekend in Los Angeles, California.

The private foundation behind The Paradigm Challenge is committed to turning the best student ideas into reality. “We want to empower students to solve real-world problems and, when they do, we will help implement the best ideas,” said Richardson. Project Paradigm funded the filing of a patent application to protect the intellectual property rights associated with the Grand Prize entry and other applications are being considered. The patent applications are filed in the inventors’ names and they retain all the intellectual property rights.

The theme for the new Paradigm Challenge is the reduction of waste in homes, schools, communities, and/or around the world. The deadline for entries is May 1, 2017. The competition is open to students aged 4-18 and there is no cost to enter.

About the Paradigm Challenge: The Paradigm Challenge is a new annual competition created by Project Paradigm in collaboration with the American Red Cross and supported by a coalition of partners, including Youth Changing the World and the National Youth Leadership Council. The theme of the competition will change annually.

About Project Paradigm
Project Paradigm, a national private foundation headquartered in Los Angeles, California, aims to identify, support, and collaborate with passionate individuals and organizations to inspire, lead, and facilitate paradigm shifts in the approaches to global challenges. Learn more at Or like us on Facebook and Twitter (@ParadigmChlleng).

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Jeff Richardson

Michelle Lewis
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