Young Innovators Share Their Vision of the Future with Disney’s Create Tomorrowland—XPRIZE Challenge

Last month, The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Citizenship, in collaboration with XPRIZE, announced Disney’s Create Tomorrowland—XPRIZE Challenge. Kids and teens between the ages of 8 and 17, across the country, were invited to dream up the world-changing technology of the future.

Hundreds of young innovators rose to the challenge by imagining themselves in the future and reporting back about one new technology that is positively affecting humanity. Today, we’re pleased to announce the six winners and their ideas—just in time for the theatrical debut of Disney’s Tomorrowland on May 22:

  • Gabrielle Nafie, age 9, of New York, New York, envisioned a robotic origami bee called a bee origamibot. When activated by sunlight, these tiny robots function like real bees by pollinating plants vital to our survival and offset the global decline of the actual insect.
  • Maxwell Fung, age 11, of North Syracuse, New York, imagined a world with no pain thanks to the invention of the pain-blocking nanobot. These teeny metal bots are administered orally prior to surgery to inhibit nerve endings from transferring chemicals that induce pain. The nanobots are removed through the kidneys, result in little to no side effects and are non-addictive.
  • Jason Jackrel, age 12, of North Bellmore, New York, invented the hydrogen-powered scooter, the preferred transportation of the future. By utilizing hydrogen, which emits water, instead of fossil fuels, the hydrogen-powered scooter eliminates C02 emissions.
  • Clarissa Katko, age 15, of Dansville, Michigan, developed a cure for cancer through genetic therapy. By harnessing the genetic makeup of mole rats, whose genes have a high resistance to runaway cell growth, humanity will be able to eradicate cancer and extend life expectancy.
  • Adrianne Camero, age 15, of Miami, Florida, devised the Magnēs Lithos Chair, a more efficient and adaptable alternative to the wheelchair. The Magnēs Lithos Chair utilizes the Earth’s electromagnetic field to levitate and is maneuvered by the user’s mind.
  • Natalie Cummings, age 16, of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, tapped into the science of Mother Nature to create artificial trees with leaves that cleanse the air of C02 at exponential rates while also capturing solar energy to power neighboring homes.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize the talents and imagination of these extraordinary young people,” said Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “The submissions showed an incredible and imaginative vision of the future, and through them, they have brought to life the same spirit and optimism that inspired us to make the filmTomorrowland.”

Beginning in June, the six winners will have a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship experience with a leader in their area of interest. In addition, each winner will receive a $3,000 check, a 3-D Printer from 3D Systems, an annual subscription to Tales2Go® and registration for FIRST® LEGO® League for the competition season 2015–2016 in the U.S.

From all of us here at Disney, congratulations to all of the winners!