In 1905, an 11-year-old named Frank Epperson left a sugary drink on the porch overnight with a stirring stick in it. Since it was winter, the concoction froze by the morning and Frank had a tasty new invention, the "Epsicle." He patented his frozen treat in 1923, renamed it the Popsicle, and the rest is sticky-fingered history [source: Popsicle].
Other world-changing inventions by kids and teens? Earmuffs, Braille and the trampoline (that one actually makes sense) [source: CNBC]. Inventions don't have to be technically complex or revolutionary. Heck, someone had to dream up the Snuggie — "The Original Blanket With Sleeves" — that has sold tens of millions of units [source: Nobel].
Here are some inventing tips from the promoters of Kid Inventors' Day:
- Read books about famous inventors like Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin
- Carry a notebook to jot down ideas and sketch designs
- If you have a great idea, do a patent search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site
- If you are the first one with the idea, file a provisional patent application
- Build or create a prototype
- Present your invention at science fairs or community events, or seek out a company that wants to license, manufacture and sell your idea [source: K.I.D.]