Today I had the opportunity to visit the Python’s Pit finals for the high school division. It was wonderful to see the six brilliant entrepreneurs (one invention was ran by two people, the other four were soloists) showcase their innovations and inventions.
The ideas ranged from mobile apps, to service industry innovations, to brand new products, all carefully considered and planned out.
My personal favourite idea presented was Mark Suan’s ‘Cyclo-Charger’. Although I won’t go into much detail on it, the physical manufacturing and science behind the idea wasn’t all that alien. A lot of concepts taught in high school were applicable to this invention. Truly, any engineer could’ve come up with this idea. So why didn’t they?
Vision, imagination, and determination are the three factors I believe allowed mark to be the creator of this technology. He saw a problem affecting a group of people and devised a solution for it, better than any of his esteemed competitors were able to do.
The ability to have thought of this solution is something that can’t be taught in school. Although the tools and know-how can all be supplied through education, an infinite amount of theoretical knowledge could never be pieced together in a way that solves real-life issues without someone – in this case Mark—seeing the undiscovered possibility and trying to act on it.
Further beyond his creativity and smarts, Mark expressed a tangible determination, having worked for two years on his concept and design, even going so far as to build a prototype to show the Pythons.
So this is my challenge to all of you brilliant, visionary high school students in Halton: fill out an application form and join next year’s Python’s Pit. You can request a mentor to assist you in the development of your idea, gain invaluable critiques and tips from the experienced Pythons, and possibly win a grand cash prize! This year none of the top finalists walked away empty handed. All of them won new contacts and a fantastic experience (along with the lowest cash prize of $250 plus an iPad mini).
To everyone else who doesn’t feel like they have an idea to develop, I would still recommend you go to watch these high-school finalists compete next year. Their creativity may just rub off on you and inspire you to develop something yourself. At the very least, they will prove to you that this generation contains ingenious minds, striving to contribute to the world.
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