Peyton Robertson

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Peyton Robertson Young Scientist Challenge
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Peyton Robertson began inventing at only eight years old. He was brought up by his parents to find solutions to problems rather than complain about them. By the time he turned twelve, he had won first place in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for inventing the “Sandless Operational Sandbag” (SOS). His invention is much lighter than conventional sandbags, more intuitively-designed to avoid seawater and floodwater from seeping in, and 100% reusable. Once dried after use, the SOS can then be stored for future flood emergencies.

Achievements

Why Peyton Robertson is Extraordinary

Peyton Robertson, at 12 years old, was the youngest-ever winner of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2013, taking home 25,000 dollars in prize money. He is the proud inventor of the “Sandless Operation Sandbag,” or the SOS. But before you conclude that this boy is going to be a one-time wonder, please note that he has been inventing since he was eight years old! The SOS was his third invention, after the golf ball canister and retractable trainer wheels.

Trained to be a Problem-Solver

When he first discovered his love for math and science, Peyton was encouraged by his parents to think differently. Instead of seeing problems only as just causes of trouble, he was made to search for solutions; it sure helped that Peyton was a genius from birth.

After seeing how poorly the sandbags performed as flood deterrents, he set out to revolutionize their design and components. The first thing to go was the sand; instead of heavy sandbag content, he replaced it with light polymers, which expand when wet and absorb the liquid. He then added salt to make the contents denser than the saltwater it needed to keep out. To optimize blocking efficiency, he also fashioned his sandbags with plaster to keep them interlocked and ensure no salt water would find its way into the gaps.

Peyton was named the overall winner of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for his invention. He is now seeking to have SOS patented openly so that others can replicate his design and perhaps even improve it.

Two years prior to winning the 3M Young Scientists Challenge, Peyton also received the National Kids' Science Challenge Grand Prize. He now attends Pine Crest School and IMACS. A professor at the University of Florida has expressed his amazement and willingness to have Peyton enroll at his university.

Right now, Peyton is busy with other problems that await solutions; he tells young inventors:

"Failure is progress and a normal part of the process. Whether it’s science or life, you have to start, fail and just keep pushing. In a football game, time runs out, and a golf match ends after the last hole. But when you are working on something and it doesn’t work, you just extend the game – and give your experiment or your prototype another go." (SOURCE: TED Blog)

Top Reasons why Peyton Robertson is Extraordinary

  1. He invented the light and reusable “Sandless Operational Sandbag” (SOS) at only 12 years old.
  2. The SOS won him first place in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2013.
  3. He was the youngest-ever winner of the challenge.
  4. He received the National Kids' Science Challenge Grand Prize in 2011.
  5. He began solving puzzles and math problems at only three years old.
  6. He invented a golf ball warmer at age eight.
  7. He also invented the retractable trainer wheels.
  8. He currently has three pending patents.
  9. He plays golf competitively.
  10. He appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and was also interviewed by TED.

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