MED-EL USA announced that Jaylin Macerinskas, 8, from Englewood, Colo, was named the US winner of the 2018-19 Ideas4Ears invention competition. A Grand Prize winner, Jaylin won a trip for two to MED-EL’s international headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria, in June. The contest challenged children from around the world aged 6-12 years old to create an invention to improve the quality of life for people living with hearing loss.
“Jaylin and I are elated and feel so honored to be chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Heather Macerinskas, Jaylin’s mother, who will accompany her to Austria in June. “We are beside ourselves with excitement that we are being given the chance to travel to another country, experience a new culture, and be able to share our story. Jaylin has such a vibrant personality that has never been dulled by her hearing loss. I am beyond proud of Jaylin and the ideas she created through this contest. I know this opportunity will build her confidence, and hopefully that of many other kids with hearing loss.”
During the trip to MED-EL’s headquarters, the winners will have the opportunity to meet other Grand Prize winners and young inventors from around the world, and will meet engineers and scientists behind MED-EL’s many life-changing inventions. A total of 341 children participated in the contest from 19 different countries, and of these 341 children, the top 9 worldwide invention ideas were chosen to win the trip. In addition to the US, this year’s winners hail from Chile, Belarus, India, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Spain.
“As an inventor myself, you are never too young to start inventing. The ideas from the children showed not only their vivid imagination, but a real concern for the practical and daily life aspects people with hearing loss and deafness often face,” said Geoffrey Ball, inventor of the Vibrant Soundbridge. “I look forward to meeting the young inventors soon.”
Competition entries came in the form of video presentations, detailed drawings, colorful paintings, and even real-life prototypes, all aiming to improve the lives of people with hearing loss. Invention ideas included a special bed where people sleep overnight to get a laser treatment to restore the hair cells in the cochlea, an all-in-one submersible implant system, and even a voice translating device for traveling that converts other people’s speech into the desired language.