Monday, April 11, 2011

New and improved?

Today's activity is always a crowd favorite, and a welcome break from the FCAT blues. I found a brief (5 minutes) podcast on iTunesU that was a great lead in for a discussion on creativity in inventions. This podcast was part of the FOSS Ideas and Inventions Science Stories from Lawrence Hall of Science. It presented the inspiring stories of Art Fry's Post-It Notes, Waldo Semon's PVC, and Charles Goodyear's vulcanization process of rubber. All three stories were stories about finding creative solutions of ordinary problems, accidental discoveries, and seemingly failed inventions. We talked about creativity and the influences on our creativity, and then wondered where scientists and other inventors get the inspirations for their creations.

Building from this exercise, the Engineering by Design companies had a chance to experiment and design their own inventions. Or at least, take the inventions of common, everyday, ordinary household items and turn them into something new.  They were to think of a problem that needed a solution, select from a collection of household goods, modify and improve them, and finally market the new and improved items for "patents". The companies were limited to today's club meeting for time limits. However, I have to wonder if we might be seeing some of their designs in the near future on the market, or at least late night infomercials.

The Engineers proudly displaying their new "Scrubtastick"
Do you have so many brushes and scrubbies that you can't keep track of them all? Have you ever mixed up your vegetable brush with your dish cleaning brush? If so, then you need the "Scrubtastick"! Scrubtastick is many brushes in one. No more hunting all over under your kitchen sink for individualized brushes when the new Scrubtastick takes the place of them all. Go from scrubbing your vegetables, to scraping your dishes, cleaning your bathroom, to finally exfoliating your body all with one brush. And, its dishwasher safe, so you can sanitize it when you're done. Comes complete with a little bell to help you find it. All for one easy payment of $29.99! Order now! (Not really...)
The revolutionary Looper! Pet hair catcher and scraper Leonardo's Assistants presenting the Looper

Are you attracted to your pet's hair? Does it follow you from your couch to your work, on the back of your clothes?! Then you should get the Looper, part lint brush, part scooper. Its a pet hair catcher and scooper all-in-one. Use the lint brush side to remove pesky, unwanted hair left behind in your pet's shedding - simply wipe the brush side along your couch, rug, or clothing, then give the brush a tap inside the scooper to trap the hair until you are ready to dispose of it. Your furniture is fresh and hair-free, leaving you free to enjoy your pet, once again. A great bargain at just $9.99.

The Victorians present the V-Scrubber
Looking for a heavy duty accessory that is gentle enough to clean your delicate wood table? Look no further! The V-Scrubber brought to you by the Victorians Company is just the tool you have been looking for. It cleans hard scum from your tables, washes them sparkling clean, and refreshes them with its built in soap dispenser, then dries and polishes them to a high shine. The price of $15.89 includes the specialized soap - get them before they are gone!
Science and Technology company presenting the handy-dandy, super-duper flashlight holder.
Now, we know just what you are thinking- can't you just hold your flashlight in your hands like you are already doing? Well, yes, of course you can do that, but we think you will be more stylin' and hip with our Handy-dandy Super-duper Flashlight holder. Its adjustable so it can fit any size flashlight. Comes in many personalized colors. Is washable, but at $1.99 each, they are practically disposable! Disposable you say? Why would I want it to be disposable? Let's say you're sitting around a campfire eating s'mores, you need to hit the latrine or head off to your tent - you grab for your flashlight, and yuck! Your sticky, gooey fingers just got melted chocolate and marshmallow mess on your expensive flashlight! But, with the Science and Technology's handy-dandy, super-duper flashlight holder, you do not need to worry about ruining your flashlight. You can get the mess on the flashlight holder, then simply change it out for a fresh flashlight holder when you have clean hands. No more mess! So, remember, at $1.99, you can save your flashlight from getting messy, and add a bit of bling!

Black Ops Bros. team members presenting the

Ultra-Plunge & Scrub 3000
Two of Black Ops Brothers company members hard at work on their Ultra-Plunge & Scrub 3000
Do you need a powerful toilet cleaning brush that is gentle enough on your hands? Then you need the Ultra-Plunge & Scrub 3000! The Ultra-Plunge & Scrub 3000 powers through clogged toilets, while cleaning them with the power and speed of tornadoes. But the long strings mean your hands stay clean, dry, and sanitary. The toughest, stopped up toilets are no match for the Ultra-Plunge & Scrub 3000! Leaves your bowl clean as a whistle! (Note: This tool is still in the development stage and is not yet available. The Black Ops Brothers company is still determining its price to consumers. When it becomes available, you will be the first to know!)


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