In most cases, childish curiosity evolves into a hobby and a direction to go. That’s why it is very important to let children express themselves in all ways possible as long as they show excitement and interest in what they do. For example, let them build new devices and invent new concepts from old toys and mechanisms, even though they are not going to be functioning. By doing these things, children improve their creativity and practical skills which could become their future hobby. And we have a great example to show everyone how true it is: two friends, Lukas and Šarūnas, have been young engineers since the age of 5. By the time they started to create incredible innovations and even built their own 3D printer when they were just 16 years old. So keep reading because it is going to be a story about two professional future-engineers.
Šarūnas and Lukas say that their childhood interests were quite the same: they both always enjoyed to dismantle various devices and create something new. For example, Šarūnas once created a functioning automatic rake and simple watering system and Lukas was interested in creating electric engines from old DVD players. But every time the boys felt the lack of necessary knowledge. And, as they both say, it was the main reason to start discovering technology, engineering, and robotics in a higher level.
So they began their constructing journey by building the most interesting devices: a smart audio guide, which is functioning based on GPS — when a person is in a certain place, GPS sets a location and then a smart audio guide tells everything about that place. Another their invention is more like a sustainable way to grow plants — an aquaponics system, which is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish.
Also, these boys found out a solution to get rid of mosquitos — they built a mosquito control system which simulates the warm-blooded animal CO2 by attracting and destroying mosquitoes through UV light, heat and moisture.
We think you will all agree these are quite incredible achievements for two young boys. But Šarūnas and Lukas are mostly proud of another invention — their own multifunctional 3D printer which can be transformed into 1. a CNC router which is a computer-controlled cutting machine related to the hand held router used for cutting various hard materials, such as wood, composites, aluminium, steel, plastics, and foams, 2. Into a laser slicing machine. You might now wonder how they came up with such idea? As they say, Šarūnas and Lukas wanted to understand better how this technology works and to create an advanced version of it. The process of building it was also based on 3D printing — different parts of their multifunctional printer was made with another 3D printer. This invention was presented in “MakerFest 2017” hackathon and was successfully recognized: Šarūnas and Lukas were given helpful advice on how to improve the further development of this technology and it was a big inspiration to overcome even bigger challenges and keep working on it.
As if it was not enough, the boys became the initiators of students’ practical enterprise named “3D Art Deco”. The main activity of this students’ enterprise is a creation of various 3D production: jewellery, logos, constructions, and printing. Since it is a special year for Lithuania, the boys decided to print pendants for the occasion of Lithuania‘s Independence Act. They have printed various pendants and souvenirs with their 3D printer and, as they both claim, it is a new way to discover how modern technologies can be used in commerce and improve entrepreneurial skills.
Amazing how young people can create so many useful innovations. Šarūnas and Lukas think that their innovations help people to understand how useful technologies can be — one of their goals is to improve people’s awareness of modern technologies which are going to be the main driving force in the future. The boys also have useful advice for all the young people out there: “it is very important, to begin with, small steps — to participate in as many events and contests as possible, to volunteer and gain experience, but most importantly — to be brave and don’t give up trying one more time even after some failures — after all, the frustration of failing is much smaller than the obscurity of what would have happened if you tried.
by Ieva Tilindyte, European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute
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CC BY 4.0 DOIT, http://DOIT-Europe.Net, H2020-770063