The Inspire a Kid Podcast

0007 Ann Makosinski- Inspiring Inventor

December 1, 2017

Thanks for clicking on this episode of the Inspireakid podcast.  The Podcast where we tell the stories of inspiring kids who have done great things, kid influencers who are inspiring kids to greatness and adults who have done great things who were inspired as kids.

Every seed is like a tiny package of unlimited potential, and within every kid is the unlimited potential for greatness.

Ann Makosinski, of Victoria, Canada is an inventor and motivational speaker.

She came face to face with the reality that not all of people in the world have access to basic things we take for granted every day when she took a trip to the Philippines to visit the village where her mother’s family lives in 2008. 

A Filipino friend that she met there, she found out a few years later, was failing school because there was no electricity at home. Ann’s friend was working during the day so only had time to study at night but couldn’t see to do it. Doing further research, Ann found that many people-- 1.2 billion around the world---don’t have access to electricity.  And she wanted to do something about it.

Over the next few years (and science fairs), she began to develop prototypes of non- battery flash lights.  Using Peltier tiles and help from the internet, Ann finally created a prototype for the hollow flashlight—a hollow aluminum tube that cools the sides of Peltier tiles in the flashlight’s cylinder while warmth from the human hand heats the other side, creating enough voltage to power the LED flashlight.

Her flashlight gained attention starting at the Canada-wide science fair, where she earned a gold medal.  But wide-spread notoriety came when she won first prize in her age group at the 2013 Google Science Fair.

As of 2014, there were still tech issues that need to be resolved and she had talked to a manufacturer in Canada about the manufacturing and distribution of her product.

In 2016 as a 19 year old college student, she presented her next project called the eDrink that is a thermal mug that converts excess heat from your coffee or other hot beverage into useable electricity to charge an electronic device.

Part of the Inspire a Kid framework is based on core human values…. that there are core human values which could and should be common in every culture that are the basis for strong children, families and communities. These values are our lens through which we hope will encourage kids to live their important, distinctive and significant lives.

The values that I think Ann best exhibits are the Inspire a Kid values of 

Compassion- To pursue a project that helps people who don’t have access to basic things most of us take for granted takes Compassion.  Compassion isn’t just feeling sorry for someone, its doing something about it.


Confident- to believe that not only could it be done, but to develop more and more improved versions of her project takes a lot of confidence. Confidence fuels determination and effort. Confidence means knowing you have what it takes to do anything. She was sure of what she could do.


Creative- Creativity is shown when she made something new out of existing technology.  Creativity is taking the time to look at how to fix the problem in a different way just as Ann did.


Helpful- her main reason to start the project was to help her friend and others like her that weren’t able to study at night or had no access to electricity. Being helpful means meeting someones need without expecting anything back.


Teachable- to not only complete a science project but also to compete in a science project, you have to be willing to learn. As a wise person once said, “a know-it-all really knows nothing.”  Being teachable means you learn from yours and others’ successes and mistakes and being willing to consider things you don’t understand.


Looking back, she realizes that she is in a unique position to inspire other young students her age to do great things too.  Her goal is to make sure that every kid knows that they have what it takes to do whatever they want to do.  It just takes effort, determination, and not feeling pressured to think or be like everyone else.

Ann Makosinski is a great kid who has done great things and inspired others to greatness along the way.  Who are you inspiring to greatness today?

Well, Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode.  Until next time, Go and Inspire!



  1. “Why I don’t use a smart phone” TedX talk February 2016
  2. “The Problem with inventions” Tedx Victoria talk December 2014

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App