This past November, the Town of Aurora held it’s first ever Youth Innovation Fair. We had many of our #FearlessLearners participate, with one even winning for his age category! David has been in our programs for almost a year now, and we are so very proud of him for his effort and dedication to his idea and innovation. The road to innovation can be intimidating at times, especially for youth, and David truly exemplifies what it takes to learn fearlessly! We asked David to share his journey with us, in hopes to inspire others to follow a similar path. Keep reading to learn all about his creation the “Untippable, Unspillable Bowl”!


Hi, my name is David Simmons and I am 12 years old. In Aurora, we had our first Youth Innovation Fair. I decided to take part in the Youth Innovation Fair, and the innovation that I entered was the “Untippable, Unspillable Bowl”. Before I came up with his idea, I had many ideas, but sadly many of them were either already invented or wouldn’t actually work. I came up with this idea because my cats are always knocking around their water dish and making a mess. We have gone through three different types of water bowls.


The first bowl was heavy but could easily be spilled. The second bowl was heavy because of the water and had a rubber bottom, but they could knock the bowl to spill it and once the rubber got wet you could easily move it. The third bowl was metal and had a sloped side so they could stand on the edge and splash around in it.


In designing my bowl, I tried to take the best parts of all three and combine them together. I started by making a paper prototype and then started making the real thing. I decided to use clay because I could shape it in any way that I wanted. I used the plastic bowl as a mold to create the bottom and top parts. I rolled the clay out fairly thin and then draped it over the plastic bowl to get the shape. To keep its shape we used a hair dryer to quickly dry the outside so we could take it off the plastic bowl. I stacked one bowl on top of the other, creating a hollow base for the sand to go in. The sand was to make it heavy so that they could no longer push it around. For the top bowl, I curved the edge in so that if they knocked it, it would help keep the water in. To make my bowl look finished, I took a damp sponge and gently smoothed out the clay on the inside and the outside. After that, I used a cork to make a hole in the bottom bowl for an opening for the sand. Once the bowl was done being built I let it dry for several days. Then my mom took it to school and fired it in the kiln. After it came out of the kiln I glazed it.


To present it to the judges, I used a science board to show my information through pictures and text. I spoke to all of the judges and visitors in a calm voice and looked them in the eyes. All of the people who came before the judges gave me an opportunity to practice and improve my presentation.


Now that the “Untippable, Unspillable Bowl” is being used by my cats, we no longer have water all over the kitchen floor.





Thank you David for sharing! Have a question about the invention or want to share some insights? Be sure to comment below!