Innovation is a very important subject in life. Innovation is not only inventing something new but getting new thoughts and ideas. An innovation is usually referred to as a product or a method to do something or to solve a pressing problem. It is the process of inventing new products or processes.

The process of innovation involves a sequence of steps. For example, there were several steps to building the first telephone. First, Alexander Graham Bell needed to find people who would collaborate with him to experiment with ideas. Then they needed to know what the telephone should look like, for example, the design. Then, they needed to gather the materials to make the components. Then, they needed to sketch the manufacturing process.

Actor portraying Alexander Graham Bell in a 1926 silent film. Shows Bell's first telephone transmitter (microphone), invented 1876 and first displayed at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia.
Actor portraying Alexander Graham Bell in a 1926 silent film. Shows Bell's first telephone transmitter (microphone), invented 1876 and first displayed at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia.Wikimedia Commons

The manufacturing process includes the components arranged in the right manner. The primary components include- plastic parts, internal electronics, and packaging. The plastic parts include the base, handset casting, and buttons. Internal electronics include the circuit board. The packaging includes the wrapping material for the telephone so that it is not damaged during transport. Then it needs to be put in boxes to be shipped to the customers.

Another innovation process example is from the solar panel. Charles Fritts thought of a great way to save fossil fuel-driven power sources. He invented the Solar Cell which soon made people invent the solar panel. He invented it so that he could minimize the usage of fossil fuels to generate electricity.

An artwork depicting innovation by Aarav Roy of Ahmedabad International School
An artwork depicting innovation by Aarav Roy of Ahmedabad International School

Today, the electricity consumption in the world is over 58Kwh per day per person.

The solar panels help combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuels. First, Charles Fritts had to find a problem in the environment and when he found out that the daily electricity consumption is excessive, he had to find a solution to minimize usage of non-renewal sources of power generation. Then he decided to make the solar panel. To make the solar panel, he first had to make the solar cell. He had to take the silicon dioxide and place it into an electric arc furnace. He coated selenium with an extremely thin layer of gold, so it was transparent to light, and obtained an energy conversion efficiency of between 1% and 2%. He made a significant impact on the environment and on us too because it saves fossil fuels by using a renewable source of energy, solar. The maintenance cost of using solar panels is quite low and it also reduces the electricity bills. That means we get to save a lot of money because almost everything requires electricity like our devices.

Charles Fritts is not the only one who invented something for the environment. There are many others such as Charles Brush who invented the windmill, Louis Zambrano who invented the hydro turbine, and Harry Wasylyk who invented the garbage bag.

Further, it's very important to collaborate with like of different minded individuals to develop new products. Collaboration generates newer ideas and thoughts from everyone. For example, when Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park invented the bulb, he collaborated with scientists, physicians, and chemists. He was into collaboration from the very beginning.

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Light bulbIBTimes India/Sami Khan

Product design is also very important. Design is anything we sketch to develop a product. As written before, in the process of inventing the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell and his partners needed to sketch the layout of the product, which is the telephone. It includes how it should appear after the manufacturing process.

In modern times, we use websites such as Canva, Animoto, and MIT App Inventor to make videos, presentations, apps, posters, flyers, and cards. During the earlier times, inventors didn't have much access to computer technologies. They needed original thinking capabilities and they found out that a circle can roll and that is how they invented the wheel.

While old problems are solved, new problems appear each day. Now, the world witnesses several problems such as global warming, water scarcity, air pollution, deforestation, and land pollution. We all are doing our bit to solve these problems but the world needs to do more.

If this trend continues, this may as well be the last generation of humans. We have technology at our disposal. Technology has the power to save the earth. Innovation must be ingrained in our education system so that all children can attempt small ways to solve a large problem. For example, we can design robots that can pick up the trash from the ground, or we can start making a machine that purifies the air on a large scale. So let us all together work to save the Earth! 

Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Aarav Roy, a student of Ahmedabad International School.