These 6 genius kids have achieved more than you ever will in a lifetime.

Thanks to our brand partner, Origin

Sorry guys, it’s time to make you feel slightly inadequate.

The calculator, Braille, Water skiing. You probably had no idea that these – and a bunch of other popular, everyday items – were all invented by genius kids.

Yep – while most of us spend our childhood and teen years waiting for the school bell to ring, there are a few exceptional young minds out there who are more excited about inventing things – things that ultimately changed history.

Here are some of those exceptional young people. Mind absolutely blown.

1. The calculator was invented by an 18-year-old.

The first mechanical calculator (Pascal’s calculator or the Pascaline) was invented by a young man called Blaise Pascal.

He was from France, and was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Ultimately he was a highly celebrated mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher. In 1962 he invented and built the first digital calculator.

It came about because he wanted to help his dad with tedious tax accounting.

2. Braille was invented by a blind 15-year-old.

At the age when most of us were figuring out how to deal with acne, a boy by the name of Louis Braille figured out a system to allow blind people to read.

Another French-born genius, Braille went blind at five after an accident.

He attended one of the first schools for blind people in the world, and he invented Braille due to his yearning to read more in-depth content.

3. Water skiing was invented by an 18-year-old.

Ralph Samuelson from Minnesota once had a thought – that if you could ski on snow, then you could surely ski on water.

On July 2, 1922 Samuelson (being towed by his brother Ben) realised if you lent back on the skis and put the tips up, you could stay standing.

And on July 8, 1922 Samuelson made the first ever water ski jump.

4. The first fully-working electronic TV was invented by a 21-year-old.

Ok, so this one was invented by someone slightly older than 18 – but it is still super impressive.

Philo Farnsworth was a farm boy who grew up on a property, but he was also an electronics prodigy – and while he was ploughing the family farm he came up with a genius idea. He wanted to project a recorded image on to a screen. And by the time he was 21 in 1927, he developed the world’s first fully-electronic working television.


So thank Farnsworth for your Netflix habits now.

5. Trampolines were invented by a 16-year-old.

George Nissen completed high school when he was 16 and decided to go out into the world and create a bouncing apparatus.

He worked in his parents’ garage and used steel materials that he picked up at junkyards. Ultimately he built a rectangle frame and stretched a piece of canvas across it. Everybody loved it (and they still do) and he commercialised it big time.

6. A 13 year old invented a constant phone charger this year.

It’s been invented – it just needs to be created now. Reece, from All Saint Anglican School in Queensland, was a winner in Origin’s littleBIGidea competition.

He used a sheet of real or synthetic tourmaline (a commonly occurring mineral/gemstone) as an interim charging option, providing energy to people without access to a power outlet.

When negatively charged photons from the sun reach the tourmaline they are absorbed, working like an electric circuit to create pyroelectricity. Science jargon aside, thanks to Reece, we might never be stuck with a flat battery on our mobile phone again – which is especially helpful during crisis situations.

He said his grandma helped him come up with the idea.

“My grandma – she’s a gemmologist and she came over and stayed for a couple of weeks and she was selling stones on eBay and we were talking through a few of them and she came across tourmaline and she told me it can create its own electrical current. I thought I could basically use that to put toward my idea,” he said.

Pretty impressive, right?

Which invention or inventions do you think is most brilliant?

The 2014 Origin littleBIGidea competition winners won a trip to NASA and we are very jealous…

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