Students, have you ever wanted to make the world a better place? To invent cool stuff? To put your mad design and engineering skills to good use, and/or learn some great new skills? To help other kids? This is your chance!
Through Invent for Good, you will design and prototype car assemblies and other assistive devices for kids with movement limitations. In short, you will change these kids' lives for good.
In this program, middle school through college students work in teams with our pros to design cool tech for kids with movement limitations. Since 2020, Invent for Good teams have been designing a wide variety of solutions that kids and parents have requested we add to our Geeks for Kids cars. Projects have covered a wide range of topics; for example, teams have built prototypes of the following:
- Foot-Controlled Drive – Designing a control system that would allow a child to drive with one foot or two
- Collision Prevention – Proposing a system that warns our kids and their parents when their cars are approaching a hazard
- Boundary Setting – Designing a set of devices that help our kids and their parents know when the kids are approaching a parent-defined set of boundaries
- Action Challenges – Creating small, fun devices we can add to our cars – like whiffle-ball shooters – to challenge kids to do more with their bodies.
- Better Head Support – Defining more comfortable ways to help our kids keep their heads up so they can see where they are driving
- A Glare-Reduction System – Developing a prototype to shield kids who have sensitivities to sunlight
- Eye-Gaze-Directed Drive – Creating a first generation prototype of a system to allow children who can move no other parts of their bodies to direct their cars with only the movement of their eyes
- Powered Casters – Designing a powered wheel assembly to allow a new vehicle to turn on a dime
- And, more
Many teams have participated, including teams from:
- Basehor-Linwood High School
- Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies
- Pitt State University
- Rockhurst University
- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
- Shawnee Mission Center for Academic Achievement
- University of Missouri, Kansas City
- And, our own high school robotics team, The Red Hot Techie Peppers
Join the team – and give other kids the #Power2Play! This year, we plan to do even more to empower kids with movement limitations. We will build more cars than ever before, and we will add exciting new features. The professional engineers, programmers and business people on our Design Team and our Advisory Board will guide you along the way. You will learn and create alongside our pros.
How It Works
Once you sign on, we will introduce you to the kids we serve, teach you about what we build and then offer you a range of exciting challenges to tackle. You choose! Then, you spend a semester or a school year designing and prototyping your new project.
We will meet regularly for design reviews and additional training. Finally, at the end, you will present your work to our Design Team. If your design is ready for real-world use, we will incorporate it into the next generation of our cars. And, of course, you can pitch in and help build the many cars rolling off our line. You are also invited to join us for any or all of our Build Events and our annual Delivery Days. Participating in Invent for Good will be the most rewarding thing you've done!
How to Get Involved
Form a team of your own or join our team. Teams typically range from 3 to 12 people, and student team members range in age between the ages of 12 to 21 years.
Join Our Team
If you would like to join our team, our mentors are ready to guide you! Our team meets every Monday and Thursday evening from 5:30 to 8:30p, though some students only attend one session per week. During these sessions, you will:
- Learn at least a little about each of the skills we use to build cars: electronics, CAD, 3D printing, mechanical and electrical engineering, product design and development, usability testing, and project management,
- Pick one or more areas of specialization and dive deeper.
- Learn how to build our cars and become a team leader.
- Pick a project or projects that especially interest you and your teammates and design and prototype to help our kids.
Form Your Own Team
Perhaps you live far from Kansas City, MO (where we are headquartered), or you are already a member of a robotics team or an engineering club and would like to do a project together. If so, you can form your own Invent for Good team. It's easy. You just need some friends, at least one local, adult mentor, and the desire to invent for good. Our mentoring team, composed of professional engineers, programmers, and other tech experts, will also provide support via email, Zoom and/or in-person meetings when possible. To learn more about how you can get involved, click on the button at the top right and one of our team leaders will follow up with you as soon as possible.
To get involved, you can attend one of our Team Open House events or schedule a private visit. Just click the button at right, and we will send you all the details.