Airdate: Jul 07, 2009
Scientist: Paul Schmitt
Kids' Science Challenge: Winners - Skateboard Meeting
A major player in the skateboarding business is anxious to test a 10-year-old's innovative design.
PS: "It was great because it was just a creative idea; an expression of not being hindered by experience.”
Paul Schmitt is something of a legend in the skateboarding world. He’s an avid skater whose company has manufactured millions of boards. So what’s this new idea that’s got his attention? Stay tuned. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
[ambience: Dyson vacuum]
Ten-year-old Lindsay Carnes remembered seeing a TV commercial showing a new kind of vacuum cleaner that could turn on a dime, pivoting around on a ball. Well, Lindsay wondered how this feature might translate to a skateboard and submitted her idea to the Kids’ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders.
PS: "So Lindsay's idea was she wanted a skateboard to turn the way a Dyson vacuum cleaner turns, where it has a lot of maneuverability. She feels that a ball versus a wheel would do this.”
Lindsay’s idea took top prize in the skateboard category, and she’ll collaborate with engineers Paul Schmitt and Michael Bream to create a prototype.
“We are going to build some prototypes and we are going to prove if the idea works or doesn't work and why it does or doesn't work. Lindsay your preparation to get ready is to just think of ideas, think of what you want it to look like, because we actually got tools, we're actually going to make it. We're going to cut it out - we're going to squeeze it together, we're going to press it do some welding on it, we're going to make special balls and wheels, we're going to just experiment with all kinds of ideas. We're also going to take some of the other ideas of some of the other Kids’ Science Challenge winners and make those too. Are you up for it?”
PS: “Alright, cool.”
Other competition entries include a surfboard that converts to a skateboard, and a board that’s fully recyclable. You can follow the progress of the creation of these boards on kidsciencechallenge.com.
Pulse of the Planet’s Kids’ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.