We posted about Alexis Lewis earlier this year, linking to a great interview in SmithsonianMag! Her spirit, determination, and innovative spirit send a wonderful message to all young engineers out there: want to see something change? change it! want to see something fixed? fix it! Alexis is inspired by both humanitarian issues as well as the drive to build and make for herself. She sees education as the key component to getting kids motivated to invent and to help make the world a better place.
Alexis is a normal teenage kid who stumbled upon the truth that everyone is a natural-born inventor. Armed with that knowledge, Alexis set out to invent items that would make people’s lives easier and, perhaps, save lives.
Who told Alexis that everyone can invent? The sponsors of the Discovery/3M Young Scientist Challenge and the ePals-Smithsonian Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge.
When Alexis was 12 years old, she heard about the Discovery/3M Young Scientist Challenge. She looked at the competition’s website, which showcased a whole bunch of middle school inventors. After that, she never questioned whether kids could invent.
Then, when Alexis was 13 years old, she learned about the ePals-Smithsonian Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge, which is open to students 5-18 years old from all over the world. She was impressed with the inventions of even the youngest group. For example, a nine-year-old made a “sand sleeve” to help steady the shaking hand of her grandfather.
Alexis firmly believes that America’s middle schools should offer “Inventing 101” classes. Who knows what will happen when kids realize that inventing is not reserved for geniuses? Perhaps it will start an “Invention Nation”!
October 13th is Ada Lovelace Day! Today the world celebrates all of the accomplishments of women in science, art, design, technology, engineering, and math. Each year, Adafruit highlights a number of women who are pioneering their fields and inspiring women of all ages to make their voices heard. Today we will be sharing the stories of women that we think are modern day “Adas” alongside historical women that have made impacts in science and math.
Please promote and share #ALD15 with your friends and family so we can promote and share with all of the world wide web!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.