Here's a short list of what I was doing when I was 11 years old; saving up pennies to get a pet rabbit. Redecorating my bedroom just every possible chance I could get. Swimming and buying chocolate bars from the corner store with my friends. Because I was your average selfish kid, I guess. Not like Bishop Curry. This 11-year-old boy invented a gadget to prevent hot car deaths, which is seriously incredible.
When Bishop Curry was a young kid growing up in McKinney, Texas (not that he's an old kid now, obviously), tragedy struck his neighborhood. According to his GoFundMe page and local news reports, a 6-month-old baby girl died after being left in a car on a hot summer day. Bishop was so upset at the idea that a baby could die in a hot car that he went to work on a solution. "I didn’t think this should happen to anyone so I came up with my invention," Bishop tells Romper. "I started breaking down the problem and thinking of [solutions] to solve it in unique pieces."
Bishop sketched out a prototype for a device with several capabilities, according to CBS News. It can detect motion in the car seat that would indicate a child is still in it, cool the car seat if it becomes overheated, and call emergency services to alert them that a child was left in a hot car.
Bishop took his sketch to his dad, Bishop Curry Sr., who did something amazing; he listened to his son. Let's face it, it's easy to look at a sketch your kid did as an invention and be dismissive of his idea. But that's not what Curry did. Instead he helped his son apply for a patent for his invention, which Bishop wisely called the Oasis, and set up a GoFundMe page to help get the prototype built. Bishop tells Romper that his dad also helped him find companies and lawyers to bring his idea to fruition and that his mom has also been "supportive" in his endeavor.
At the time, Bishop already had a provisional patent for his invention and a 3D model. "ALL of the funds that you donate will go towards the attorney fees needed to finalize the patent, prototyping fees, and to help identify a manufacture," his dad shared on the GoFundMe page, addingL
Bishop is a 5th grader who is fascinated with making things. From creating a home-made catapult and ping pong ball cannon, to thinking of ways to melt ice and snow on roads without using salt. His latest idea is getting more attention - a car seat that can help prevent hot car deaths in children.
The Oasis works by attaching a fan to the headrest of a child's car seat. This fan is then programmed to start blowing cool air if the car gets overheated, according to CBS Dallas. An antennae that Bishop had built into the device will alert parents and emergency services that the child is in danger.
Bishop and his dad were originally asking for donations up to $20,000, but once word spread about the great work he was doing the donations started to come in. All in all, more than $50,000 was donated via GoFundMe. "I wasn’t expecting how generous people are," Bishop tells Romper. "It [is] truly God’s will." And here's the best news of all; with his dad's help, Bishop has received a patent for the Oasis. Which means this potentially life-saving device could well be on the market in the near future.
And honestly, Bishop's brilliant invention couldn't come soon enough. Despite frequent warnings from the American Academy of Pediatrics that children should never be left in a hot car, tragic accidents still happen every year. According to Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children "die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles." The advocacy group added, "Even the best of parents or caregivers can unknowingly leave a sleeping baby in a car; and the end result can be injury or even death."
Bishop Curry's invention could conceivably save lives. And he's just 11 years old. How impressive is that?