An 11-year-old boy, Bishop Curry from Texas has made history for himself by looking for ways to fix one of the world’s major domestic problems.
Being unusually curious about big-picture problems ranging from natural disasters to civil rights and always love to tinker, he single-handedly invented a device to prevent hot car deaths. Bishop drew his motivation and inspiration from an upsetting local news report about a 6-month-old girl, Fern who died when left in a hot car and resolved to make sure something like that never happened again.
“I was like, ‘This would be my one-way shot to actually helping people,’” Bishop said in an interview.
Bishop, in his McKinney, Texas home, developed a mock-up of a device that would sense if a child is left alone in a car. The device when attached to a headrest or car seat would alert parents’ phones and the police, all while blowing cold air until help arrives.
He named the device “Oasis”. “It’s like texting,” Bishop said. “But without emojis.” According to his dad, Bishop Curry, an engineer with Toyota, was immediately sold on the idea; “My thought was, ‘Why isn’t this in stores now?”. Toyota was so impressed by Bishop’s idea that it sent him and his dad to Michigan for a safety conference.
For all the attention, Bishop won’t soon forget the tragedy that birthed his invention. Fern, the 6-month-old baby girl who had died in an overheated car, lived nearby. Bishop passed by her family’s house all the time on the way to school and has met with Fern’s parents.
“They really supported me,” he said. “They didn’t want anything (like that) to happen to any other families.”
According to Kids and Cars, an advocacy center that studies the issue, about 804 children have died from heat-related illnesses in cars in the country since 1994. In approximately 55% of those cases, the parent was unaware the child was in the vehicle, they say.
Oasis may be inching closer to becoming a reality: Supporters have crowdfunded donations upwards of $31,000 to an online fund to help secure a patent for the device.
“People are donating to a belief,” said Bishop’s dad. “A belief that the world can change through one child.”
Giant stride recorded by Bishop, what do you think?