8-Year-Old Chicago Student Wins National Competition with Portable Sink Invention, Debuts It On ‘Strahan, Sara and Keke’

Two brainy and innovative Black girls from Chicago won a national competition for an invention that makes it easier to wash your hands while on the go.

Move over, hand sanitizer, 8-year-old Kailey McGuire and her classmate Jaiah Gosa created a portable sink and secured the top prize at their Lenart Regional Gifted Center school’s Invention Convention last June, ABC 7 Chicago reports.

The Chicago pair, who were first-graders then but are now in second grade, worked as a team to figure out a pressing problem Kailey needed to solve. While at the beach, Kailey needed to wash her hands so she could chomp on some potato chips, but there were no bathrooms around.

Kailey McGuire
Kailey McGuire, 8, invented the Kids Fun Portable Sink and won a national competition and appeared on ABC’s “Strahan, Sara and Keke.” (Photo: ABC7 screenshot)

“I had just finished playing in the sand but there was nowhere to wash my hands nearby,” she told ABC 7 Chicago. “Then I thought, what if I had a sink I could carry with me to wash my hands and eat the snacks?”

With no restrooms nearby, that moment of clarity helped fuel the momentum to aid Kailey in figuring out a way to bring the sink to her.

Kailey and her friend developed the “Kids Fun Portable Sink,” and just like budding entrepreneurs, they drew mockups and kept a binder full of notes about the design and prototype to build a collapsible model that is tethered to a water bottle.

This week, Kailey was featured on ABC’s “Strahan, Sara and Keke” Kidventors segment for designing the award-winning creative contraption.

“The kids did a really good job,” said Karin McGuire, Kailey’s mom. “It was really hard. They’re 7-year-olds staying focused for that long a period of time. So we had to have play breaks, food breaks, a lot of patience.”

The little innovators not only won their school competition but they also took top prize at the regional competition, followed by the national Invention Convention in suburban Detroit, where they again won first prize for first graders.

“I had to prep her like, ‘It’s OK if you don’t win,’” her mom said. “And they called her name for first place and I was like, ah!”

Since she’s been bit by the invention bug Kailey is now working on another invention, this time for her second-grade convention. She’s hoping to build a one-of-a-kind robot of some sort.

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