Girls and women are amazing. All over the world, we are committed to helping our communities. There are over three and a half billion women in the world and we are ready to make a difference through science and technology. Think about all of the things we don’t know about the world yet. Everything from “What’s in a black hole?” To “What’s at the deepest depths of the Ocean?” and all in between. We know more about the dark side of the moon than some specific areas in science! There are so many things that girls and women can help us achieve.

Happy Ride is an invention I made to solve the problem of car sickness and annoying siblings. I came up with this invention when I was in the car with my mom, dad, brother, and sister. I was trying to think of a problem that I could solve, but I couldn’t think, because I was so car sick. That’s when I realized my real problem. Whenever I got car sick, I wanted to open a window but my brother and sister would never let me because they didn’t like the noise, cold, and air pressure. Turns out, almost everyone suffers from motion sickness at one point in their lives, especially girls and women. I had to solve this problem.

As a solution, I made an invention that brought fresh air directly  to a single passenger in the car. For my first prototype, I wanted something like a straw to suck in air from the outside. The first idea I had was to use my dad’s motor oil funnel that I found in our garage. It did bring in some air, but not enough and the window still had a gap that bothered other people – unsuccessful. The third prototype was the first prototype that used a piece of plastic to block extra air from entering the car. I attached a flattened plastic funnel to a shower molding. I had a tube that went from the funnel through a hole to a valve. This worked well and blocked lots of air from entering the car. I considered this my first successful prototype, but I wanted to continue to make it better. The funnel made too much noise and it looked funny to some people. Also, the skinny plastic tube didn’t let in enough air.  I found a funnel called a NACA duct that was made for airplanes and used by race cars to bring cool air to their motors. My dad purchased a NACA duct for $22 on Amazon and the people at Select Plastics helped me cut a big hole in the window piece so I could glue on the NACA duct. Then I attached the NACA duct to a lighter tube and used a sliding valve from an old vacuum. This was light, looked great and brought much more air into the car – even at slower speeds. The fifth prototype is my favorite version and I use it all the time.

This invention won at the National Invention Convention Entrepreneurship Exposition, otherwise known as NICEE. It was hosted at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. I started by trying to fix a simple everyday problem; but if young girls pursue science, they can accomplish so much more. Girls can help fix important issues in our world that need all of our brains, talent, and hard work to solve.  

Check out this video about my invention here:


Olivia Cohn is an eleven year old from Westport Connecticut. She is the 2018 winner of the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition, she also won the I SEE HER INVENT award from CA Technologies.

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