So, way back in the fourth grade, I invented this "thing" for Invent America!.
I wanted to help eliminate pollution from big rig trucks on the highway, so I made a prototype of a box that could be put on the end of exhaust pipes that would clean the air before expelling it into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, as I was 10, it was made primarily of cardstock, popsicle sticks, glue, and brads (those little metal things so that the doors could move).
I knew that the little assembly line-filter system I had in my brain wasn't feasibly possible then (this was the beginning of the time I was thinking of becoming an engineer). And, as my project failed considerably in comparison to the tactile, and practical applications of my classmates' projects - an ice cream scoop with an internal heating coil (actually got sent in for a patent!), a plexiglass box with gloves inside so you could read a book in the shower without messing up the book (by my former roommate), and homemade, streak-free glass cleaner - I lost the competition by far.
However, my idea was redeemed (in my mind) as I read this article about crystals that can pull the CO2 out of the air. Since getting a tree in the "magic exhaust pipe box" is out of the question, these crystals could mean the beginning of a whole new invention.
All I need now are some popsicle sticks to build a model with.
Love always, ~Heather