Chase Lewis, 13, of Chapel Hill was featured last fall on the Thumbs Up page for his invention of a simple, triangular, wheeled carrier designed to help transport frail family members to refugee camps in famine-wracked countries in Africa.
His travois earned a finalist spot in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and now it’s one of 16 finalists in the ePals/Smithsonian Invent It Challenge.
The winner of the Smithsonian contest will have a patent application submitted in his or her name to help make the competing idea a reality.
One winner of the contest will be determined by popular vote, while another in each age group will be selected by inventors at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation.
To vote for Chase and his refugee travois, go to http://tinyurl.com/chaselewisvote. You can also view a PowerPoint presentation about the idea there.
Voting is open through Feb. 3, and the winners will be announced Feb. 4.