11-Year Old Invents a Better Sandbag

(Photo: Discovery Education/3M)

Peyton Robertson lives in Florida, America’s hurricane magnet. So he knows how much damage a flood can do and the value of a wall of sandbags when the water rise.

Most sandbags used for this purpose are heavy and porous. That’s why he invented one that isn’t filled with sand, but salt and an expandable polymer substance. It’s lightweight, so it’s easy to move them in bulk to flooding locations. When they’re piled in place, just hose them down with water. The polymer swells and solidifies. Conveniently, the bags, when filled, swell into a shape that makes them easy to interlock.

This invention earned Peyton the grand prize in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which comes with a $25,000 check and a trip to Costa Rica.

-via Damn Geeky


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Plus, I can't imagine they'd beat the 3 cent price of a regular sandbag. Still, this is a cool invention and may have applications for other things.
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I hope these things are reusable. If not, imaging the environmental impact of billions of these things breaking open and plugging up pipes and rivers.
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