My daughter and I have been inventing for a few years now. We have worked on two separate inventions to include: hydroturbines for your gutter downspouts, and the Space Poop Portal.
The small hydro turbines were made to harness energy generated from falling water which could then be stored to power small security lights.
The Space Poop Portal provided a platform for us to think beyond our thoughts of harnessing gravity based energies. Together we worked to create a system which would allow astronauts to evacuate wastes without having to de-suit.
The real innovation in the time creating with my daughter is encouraging her creativity and building her confidence to attack complex problems without fear. To feel she can contribute.
Time inventing with my daughter has inspired the creation of The Space Poop Portal; The Space Poop Portal is important because it will provide extended space travel for our astronauts.
The motivation was to encourage my 12 y/o daughter to solve problems which may seem unsolvable. To teach her skills of scientific methods, to be comfortable failing, and to understand that even brilliant people can have difficulty being creative.
Working with her to create small hydroturbines was easy to create the connection of rain, gutters, and falling water. The education of turbines and how to harness the energy with her was a bit more complicated. After building some toy motorized cars helped resolve the concept.
The Space Poop Portal was an easy concept for her to understand. It hasn't been many years since she was in diapers. Bringing those concepts to life through sketches allowed us to create a concept for astronauts.
The "Wow Factor" really resides in creating the next generation of inventors. What is more powerful than seeing a passion spark in a young girl and helping her to create a confidence which will follow her in life.
Encouraging her to understand that bright minds at NASA don't always have answers immediately and they have to use concepts like the scientific method and linear thinking to resolve the unknown.
Building her personality to understand that girls can still contribute, dominate, and lead efforts in creating unknown inventions. To start thinking beyond the daily grind that exists in her daily life.
Additional challenges should be geared towards the young kids, science classes, and more specifically "girls".
I constantly teach my daughter that "girls really do rule". If she can believe it...she can live it.