The prize money has been used to help the kids design a prototype, and now
the students are looking for investors who might want to help them take the idea
to the next stage.
Judges for the prize included the director of the USPTO, the XPRIZE company
head that markets flights to space, as well as Dean Kamen, inventor of the
Segway and holder of about 400 other patents.
"One thing that truly inspired me at this event was being able to watch
members from each team sit on a panel and answer questions from the audience
about their inventions, about their lives and about their dreams for the
future," wrote USPTO Commissioner Peggy Focarino on the office's official blog
after the event. "They were smart, they were funny - they were so obviously
still children, and yet to see them in all their exuberance was to also witness
a young generation accepting its roles and responsibilities as the next
innovators and problem solvers."
Itzkovitz predicts her grandson and his innovative pals will go far in life,
probably becoming Israel's startup nation generation of the near future. Maybe
even earlier than most: Out of six teens chosen from the southern region of
Israel to participate at Tel Aviv University's science summer school this year,
three were from the FreezeStick team. For a month in August, instead of hanging
out at the beach, the boys studied math and science all day long.
Itzkovitz is not thinking about them becoming millionaires, but more
importantly that they could invent something that is "making good things for
humanity, to help us."