A worldwide search for inventions of the future was started with a global children’s competition.
The competition invites children aged 6 to 12 from across the UK to come up with an invention to improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss. Submissions can be sent via a video, drawing, or sculpture. The most important factor, however, is that young people think big and channel their ideas to support those who cannot hear.
The global competition was launched by MED-EL, a leading provider and inventor of hearing implant systems, to celebrate the creativity of children.
Due to the global COVID-19 situation, this year’s ideas competition is focusing on children who have recently returned to school but are socially distancing themselves from people outside their household and the parents who support them. The competition is a great opportunity to partake in a fun and educational activity that the whole family can do together while we’re all at home.
The brain behind the ideas competition and the chief judge of the inventions is Geoffrey Ball. Geoffrey became deaf as a toddler and invented a revolutionary middle ear implant to treat his own hearing loss.
“Often times, the challenging times in life spur the greatest creativity and innovation. The pandemic has shown how important communication is to function in everyday life. At times like these, it is even more important to support people with hearing loss and help those who may be struggling to stay connected in their communities. ”
To date, Geoffrey is an inventor with over 100 patents on his name and now he shares his knowledge to give something back to the younger generation. He wants to inspire children around the world to believe in themselves and use their experiences with deafness to help other teenagers like them.
“Children should see their deafness as their superpower! Being deaf as a child gives you great strength; the ability to empathize with others, become adaptable, and find creative solutions to everyday problems when you live in an environment that is not designed for people with hearing loss. The challenge is officially open! I’m particularly looking forward to the ingenuity of the inventors this year, ”said Geoffrey Ball, MED-EL Technical Director and inventor of the VIBRANT SOUNDBRIDGE middle ear implant.
The competition aims to improve understanding of the challenges associated with hearing loss and deafness, as well as the benefits of treatment. Interested parents should visit www.ideas4ears.org/enter submit your child’s entry. The closing date for entries is Sunday, January 17, 2021, midnight.
Freya Jane Chipperfield from Manchester, one of this year’s ideas4ears winners, is a 9 year old girl who has been deaf since birth and had an implant when she was two years old. From her own experience of losing her processor while gaming, she came up with the idea of a home tracker called “No More Lost Ears” to help other implant users.
After winning, Freya said, “I can’t believe I actually won! It’s so cool! I can’t wait to go to Med-el and talk to all the smart people there. I hope I can see how they all make cochlear implants and show the designers my new sonnets too! ”
Ideas4ears finalists and grand prize winners will be in the running to win educational resources to aid their home-schooled learning. There is an opportunity to win notebooks, tablets and special price packages.
All ideas are welcome, from the crazy to the conventional; The only criterion is that the inventions must have the potential to improve the lives of people with hearing loss at any age.