KID Museum’s Invent the Future Challenge asks middle schoolers what they can invent to protect life on our planet — but it’s a great question for everyone to consider.
KID Museum parent, military veteran, and Congressional Fellow Yi Liu asked herself that question — and came up with an answer: she started an eco-friendly drinking straw supply company, Go Turtle!
Plastic straws usually don’t make it through recycling sorters, since they are so small and light, and end up polluting our oceans and killing sea animals. Straws are also the “gateway” to a larger, more serious conversation about the damage caused by plastic pollution. According to the World Economic Forum, there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in our oceans by 2050.
To help address this problem, Yi began searching for the most cost-effective alternatives to plastic straws. She now manufactures FDA-approved, biodegradable paper straws, as well as reusable straws that are made from metal, silicone, glass, and bamboo. KID Museum has switched over to Go Turtle! straws for all our building projects.
“Entrepreneurship and the maker spirit have a lot in common,” Yi says. “They both teach kids soft skills such as grit, collaboration, and confidence, and encourage them to be innovative. KID is a great space that helps my son gain these key ingredients to flourish in life.”
At KID, we believe that adult mentors like Yi are an important source of inspiration for the next generation, and we provide opportunities throughout the year (e.g., at the Invent the Future Challenge Summit) to get involved. So, if you’re an inventor, product designer, or other creative problem-solver, let us know what you’re working on – and we hope to see you at KID!
– Becca Neuman, KID Museum