CAE in Media
Innovative ideas to make life easier are really child's play
From chairs that discourage leg-crossing to hospital beds that automatically change sheets and display patient information, and from sorting boxes that quickly separate utensils to auto-tuning devices for the guzheng (a traditional Chinese stringed musical instrument),ingenious ideas that make daily life easier have become a reality thanks to a group of young innovators.
The Soong Ching Ling Award for Children's Invention, given by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation, encourages children to use their imaginations and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems and improve people's lives.
Yin Meiying, a primary school student and the inventor of the aforementioned hospital bed, says participating in the Soong Ching Ling Award for Children's Invention competition has given her an opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from others.
"Through this experience, I have had the chance to discover a multitude of impressive technological inventions that have expanded my knowledge and opened my eyes to new possibilities. It has also shown me where I need to improve my own skills and abilities," she says.
Wu Weiren, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, says such events provide a gateway for children to delve into the realm of science and unleash their imaginations.
"I believe it is essential for young people to embrace their scientific dreams, cultivate a scientific mindset, and fearlessly explore new ideas.By doing so, they can become valuable assets to their communities and to society as a whole," he says.
Organizing the invention contest is just one of the efforts that the foundation has made to realize the vision of "creating the future" advocated by Soong Ching Ling, wife of the 20th-century revolutionary Sun Yat-sen.
As part of this commitment, the foundation has actively built platforms for both practical and moral education, and implemented numerous projects to promote the physical and mental well-being of young people and support their all-around development. These initiatives have had a far-reaching and positive impact on Chinese society.
The foundation recently launched a three-year action plan aimed at supporting youth growth in Beijing, noting that it will carry out a series of projects and activities focusing on science and technology, healthcare and education to facilitate the development of young people.
In addition to holding science-promotion events online and offline, the foundation will continue to collaborate with the internet giant Tencent in running projects that spark children's interest in programming and artificial intelligence. For instance, free online tutorials designed for both beginners and intermediate coding learners have been developed by both sides, making programming education accessible to young people across the country. Accomplished experts in the field of advanced technologies will be extended an invitation to act as mentors for young learners. These mentors will guide and encourage their mentees to delve into the potential of programming to devise innovative solutions for common challenges, such as environmental protection and caring for the elderly.
In June, the project started to invite youngsters to cooperate on building a large-scale virtual "space station" in which they use graphic programming languages to complete the assembly of five spacecraft and more than 100,000 individual components. The activity not only serves as a tribute to China's completion of its first space station but is also a catalyst of the younger generation's fervor for programming and their engagement in China's aerospace industry.
Regarding the health of young people, the foundation will persist in implementing measures that ensure the protection of their eyesight, extend support for severe ailments — including surgeries for congenital heart defects and care for those with autism — and prioritize the prevention of unintended injuries.
Next, the foundation plans to give scholarships to 3,000 students in higher and vocational education each year. Summer camps will also be held to simultaneously enhance patriotism and artistic literacy in youngsters.
Beneficiaries of charity projects launched by the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation have been invited to share their personal stories. CHINA DAILY