One day, then-6th grader Madi R. jumped on her bike and rode away. When she arrived at her destination, she realized she was missing a crucial piece of equipment – her bicycle lock.
She’d forgotten it, and now she’d be unable to safely park her bike.
The mishap led Madi to invent the Bike-a-Lock, a retractable lock built into the bicycle frame, making it impossible for riders to forget their locks. She developed it as part of Graland’s Gates Invention and Innovation Competition.
Graland alumnus Charles C. Gates ‘34 believed that all kids are natural inventors, unafraid to explore new ideas or to take old ideas apart. With his inspiration and generosity, Mr. Gates endowed the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition in 2000 to reward invention and innovation. Graland students in fifth through eighth grades are encouraged to explore ideas, take risks, and ultimately invent a product that might make a difference in the world.
In 2010, Madi’s invention won a coveted “patent nod,” which encouraged her to take it to the next level. After meeting with a lawyer, a search was conducted to determine if there was anything like it already on the market or with a patent pending. She found that the retractable design made it a unique idea, and she has now submitted a design patent application. Madi hopes to learn within the year whether or not she will be granted a patent with her name on it!
To learn more about the Gates Invention and Innovation Competition, click here.
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.