All 16-year-old Ruth Amos wanted from her Material Sciences project, was a good grade - Hopefully an 'A'. She not only achieved that, but also, came up with a product idea that has the potential to help people all over the world!
Stair Steady is a simple invention to help elderly people climb up and down stairs independently.
Ruth's simple but ingenious idea comprises of a metal bar that attaches to the staircase railing.
The person simply holds on to it, as they ascend or descend stairs. Held together by friction, the bar locks at every step, moving only when pushed or pulled.
In case the holder stumbles and falls, the bar automatically locks up. When not in use, it can be simply pushed flat against the wall, so it is not a hindrance to other people using the stairs.
Ruth's inspiration for Stair Steady came from her Material Sciences teacher, whose elderly mother did not wish to have a stairlift installed, but had no other way to climb the stairs independently.
He was so impressed by Ruth's design that he convinced a local company to build a prototype and encouraged her to enter the 'Young Engineer of Britain' competition in 2006.
Needless to say, she won and received a lot of support and advice for her idea, which she patented right away. Then, with help from her family she set up her company Stair Steady Ltd. Since then, she has been selling her product for about $800 USD apiece in Britain and says she manages to sell about three a week!
Now at 19, the teenager, who recently also won the 'Young Star Award' at the Women of the Future Award Ceremony, in London, is ready to take on her world and has decided to start selling her product internationally.
The youngster, who is taking a break from school, to focus on her business, says she loves being an entrepreneur and businesswoman. To read more about this enterprising young girl and her product, check out her site http://www.stairsteady.net.