These days, it seems like there is a freaking “day” for everything: National Donut Day, National Hug Day, etc. But today is not just another “day” like that: February 16th is National Innovation Day and celebrates innovators all over striving to change the world.
But it’s not just Nobel Prize winners, or renowned scientists, or even politicians coming up with new ideas – college students all over the planet are making discoveries, creating machines and apps, and even inventing food that makes a difference in someone’s life. We know that you’re going to be on this list in the future, but until then keep hustlin and be inspired by these ten innovations by college students.
It makes sense that while in college, students might need tools to help them get through college. Enter Sultan Khan and Haasith Sanka. The pair created a free app called Scholarly that connects students with nearby tutors – they say to think of it like “Uber for Tutors.” Users can create profiles, set meeting locations, and find the right tutor with the click of a button. Getting good grades never sounded so easy.
2.) Mia Ellsworth Co.
Not everyone stays organized in the same way, so when Marissa Eltiste, an engineering student at the University of Tulsa, couldn’t find a day-planner with a layout to fit her needs, she decided to create her own. Her custom layout was designed for perfectionists with a touch of ADHD. Now, her startup business is gaining ground and her official launch is scheduled for Spring of 2016.
We all know the struggle of waking up to an alarm and the seductive temptation of hitting the snooze button a few times in the morning. Dylan Brodsky and the rest of the Spritely team have developed an app and device that not only serve as an alarm clock, but helps users improve their sleep habits. Built with a smart sensor, Spritely wakes users up in a more comfortable and natural manner, and most importantly, there’s no snooze button.
4.) Blueberry and Lemon Curd Bread and Butter Pudding, with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberry Compote
Not all innovations are technological in nature, as Kimberley Kenyon knows. Sometimes coming up with a recipe to help prevent food waste is just as impressive. Kenyon has whipped up a recipe that takes stale bread and turns it into Blueberry and Lemon Curd Bread and Butter Pudding with Mascarpone Cream and Blueberry Compote… It may be a mouthful to say, but creating new uses for “old” foods can save households up to a $1,000 a year!
5.) Pancake CNC Machine
Speaking of food-related innovation – check out this machine that makes the prettiest pancakes you’ve ever seen. Students from Olin College of Engineering have brought the concept of printing to the culinary world with their machine that automatically “prints” your computer design onto a hot griddle. From there it’s on you slather on the butter and syrup. Yum.
6.) Hyperloop Pod
Planes, trains, and automobiles….and now the Hyperloop Pod! College students from over 20 different countries are currently competing in a competition hosted by SpaceX to design and test a new form of transportation. Think of a really fast train. One that takes only 35 minutes to take you from one city to another that is normally a 6 hour drive away! The future is here, my friends.
We might be close to traveling at superhero speeds, but Kevin Godines, a Foothill College student, is giving superpowers to children. He created a revolutionary device from 3D-printed plastic and elastic bands that now allows a 4-year-old boy to bend his arms for the first time. Godine is continuing to design new devices to help children with similar medical problems. Pause for crying here.
8.) Mobile Transportation for Disabilities
Over in Connecticut, a group of 4 students developed an app that could improve the quality of life of the physically and emotionally challenged. Their app allows people to connect with ADA paratransit companies to schedule pickups and it even provides info on their driver’s location and distance restrictions. This Uber-like concept can change what kind of access people with disabilities have to healthcare. Talk about making a difference.
Ever gotten lost inside a building? No? Then you obviously haven’t been to an Ikea. With Munib Syed and Damanvir Singh’s new ‘Pathway’ system, you won’t have to get lost inside a building again. Their smart map software allows a user to upload a floor plan and the system will map out the best route between two points. They envision their system in places like airports, museums, and even popular tourist locations. Sadly, no Ikea yet.
Ever wished you could grab that favorite sweatshirt you left at home over the holiday break without having to actually make the trek home? Or maybe you’re really craving some of Mom’s famous cheesecake? With Bringitt you can pay a flat fee and a driver will pick up an item from your hometown and deliver it right to you. The app, created by juniors at Michigan State University, opens up the avenue for parents to deliver goods (and food!) to their kids away at school.
So, you can see that students all over the place are coming up with new ideas and making them a reality. Whether you have mad skills at coding, love to cook, or simply want to come up with a way to get your mom to do your laundry every week, you can make your idea come to life. We hope you’re feeling inspired. Now go out there and get innovating!