While it’s too early to say whether Long Island will have a white Christmas, Albertson kindergartner Rhett Pace has the perfect solution either way: his snowy blaster.
The device is a ray-gun of sorts that showers snowflakes wherever the user points it. Yes, it’s real and yes it works — patent not yet pending — thanks to a pair of British engineers who picked up Rhett’s drawing on Twitter and turned it into a machine. The blaster will be featured on the YouTube channel Kids Invent Stuff, which turns kids’ ideas into real items, later this month.
Rhett, 5, came up with the idea for his snowy blaster while learning about engineering and inventions in science class at Meadow Drive Elementary School. Teacher Katelynn Schmidt used lesson plans from the Kids Invent Stuff YouTube channel and encouraged her students to come up with ideas.
“I wanted everyone to have snow,” Rhett said Wednesday. “I like to make a snowman and have snowball fights with my brother.”
Alecia Whitaker Pace, Rhett’s mother, said Rhett has always been a creative kid but was surprised to see him come home in November and start drawing blueprints. He told her how excited he was about his snow blaster idea.
Whitaker Pace, 38, loved the explanation so much, she took a video and sent it to her husband and posted it on Twitter, where it got the attention of Kids Invent Stuff’s engineers Ruth Amos and Shawn Brown.
The show puts out a call several times a year for invention ideas from kids ages 5 to 11 and they were looking for “Christmas Contraption” ideas last month.
“They [direct messaged] me and said they wanted to see the whole video,” she said. “Rhett was just dimples for days.”
Whitaker Pace said they found out the show was going to build Rhett’s snowy blaster about two weeks ago.
They’ve gotten a sneak preview, and Amos and Brown were pictured in local media in England testing a leaf blower-like contraption that sprayed fake snow. The channel’s two full videos about their testing and building process won’t come out until Dec. 16 and Dec. 23.
Amos and Brown did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Schmidt said she’s been teaching her students about how an invention moves from an idea to a real item and was thrilled Kids Invent Stuff picked Rhett’s idea.
“It was such a great feeling as a teacher to see the smile on his face,” she said.
Rhett said he’s already thinking of new ideas, like a robot and a colorful machine that will help him make new inventions. He said he doesn’t want to be an engineer, though — he prefers being an artist.
“I’m an artist and I like to do lots of stuff with my mommy and daddy and brother,” he said. “I just show them how to do it and then they can show other people.”