Inspiring the next generation of inventors

Samaria and jocelyn present their invention at the event.

Samaria and jocelyn present their invention at the event.

This past spring, CYC youth once again participated in the Chicago Student Invention Convention. The 18 children involved were challenged to look at a problem in their lives, and then create a solution to that issue.

Like many children, 7-year-old Jocelyn sometimes struggles to wake up in the morning. Her alarm isn’t loud enough to wake her up, sometimes causing her to be late for school. This problem led Jocelyn, who attends CYC-Rebecca K. Crown Youth Center in South Shore, to partner with Samaria to create the Glitter Bed for the Chicago Student Invention Convention.

The Glitter Bed is comfy and colorful, but more importantly, it doubles as an alarm clock. The entire mattress vibrates until the sleeper is awake and ready to begin the day. Jocelyn and Samaria both love glitter and thought that the shimmery pink Glitter Bed prototype they created would be extra effective in waking them up early for school.    

Steven Willis, STEM Manager, said participating in the Chicago Student Invention Convention cultivates professional skills such as collaboration, communication, and ideation within youth. The club not only pushed kids to come up with a solution for a daily problem, but it asked them to develop their own prototype of the invention and have a presentation ready for judges.

“It really challenges them to think about how to solve problems, and that’s a skillset they can apply to many different parts of their lives,” Steven said. “The more they are pushed, the bigger capacity they have to create solutions and become mature, successful adults.”

CYC is able to provide STEM clubs and mentoring through the support of organizations such as ArcelorMittal, Chicago Foundation for Women, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation., and Zakat Foundation of America. Thank you for your generosity!

When the big day came to present their invention, Jocelyn’s mother was surprised at how big the Chicago Invention Convention was. But Jocelyn was unfazed.

Jocelyn said that she wasn’t nervous at all when presenting to the judges. She felt proud and excited to be able to share her invention with others. Jocelyn’s hard work and communication skills paid off; the Glitter Bed project was awarded honorable mention.  

Read about how our youth did in last year’s Chicago Student Invention Convention here!