For all the modern conveniences you're probably used to, it's rare to think about how they came to be. This Saturday at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, you can get a behind the scenes look at some of the unique solutions invented right here in Seattle. For the 10th anniversary of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative – a catalyst for advanced solutions – the Gates Visitor Center will host Innovation Day, a free celebration and exploration of award-winning inventions designed to help improve lives around the world.
You probably hear about breakthrough “innovations” all the time, but consider advances that truly make an impact worldwide: social change, global health and environmental conservation, to name a few. What do these high-tech, low-tech, systems and processes look like in real life?
At Innovation Day, visitors can expect to see cutting-edge prototype demonstrations, meet student innovators, and participate in hands-on activities including:
- PATH’s Solar Refrigerator harnessing the power of the sun and water
- A “juice box” from Artefact Group that generates electricity from various sources
- Live "science shows" and a Pacific Science Center workshop table for exploring electricity and electromagnetism to power a small toy
- Uncharted Play's revolutionary Soccket Ball that charges when you play to power lights
- Meeting student innovators from UW College of Engineering and Washington FIRST Robotics
- Designing & creating tools to change the world with Kidsquest Children’s Museum
- Demonstrations of the Hippo Roller, Earth Auger, and LifeStraw
- Staff roaming the galleries with featured innovations, many featured in the foundation’s Grand Challenges program
Innovation Day celebrates the 10th anniversary of Grand Challenges and highlights the Grand Challenges exhibit housed in Gates Visitor Center starting in October. Since the Gates Foundation launched the original Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative in 2003 to tackle 14 “grand challenges” in global health, Grand Challenges has grown into an international network of research and funding partnerships spanning diverse topics.
The exhibit will mark more than a decade of grant-making using the Grand Challenges approach, which aims to engage creative minds across scientific disciplines — including those who have not traditionally taken part in health research — to work on solutions that could lead to breakthrough advances for those in the developing world.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center.