Student View

STANDARDS

CCSS: 6.G.A.4, MP1, MP3, MP4

TEKS: 7.9D

R.J.’s Invention

THE KIDPRENEUR FILES

Meet some amazing kids who started their own businesses!

Courtesy of Tip Tough

“Everything we do is made in Maryland. Our area got hit hard by a manufacturing decline in 2008, so one of our big things is trying to bring local jobs to people around us.”

Starting A Business

When R.J. started drawing designs for a tool that would protect his dad’s fingers, he never planned on making a business out of it. “My dad is a chef, and he came home with a really bad cut,” R.J. says. “He cut off his whole fingertip—the doctors had to glue it back on!”

R.J. didn’t want this to happen again, so he got to work figuring out a way to protect his dad’s fingers in the kitchen. He sketched his first Tip Tough design in his notebook when he was 13. His invention is worn while chopping up food. It protects a chef’s fingers from cuts while the food is held in place.

Shortly after coming up with his idea, R.J. attended the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This national program teaches middle and high school students how to start and run a business. R.J. attended the program at the Chamber of Commerce in Salisbury, Maryland. “They helped me start my business from the ground up,” R.J. says.

R.J. never planned on starting a business. His big idea started as a tool to protect his dad. “My dad is a chef, and he came home with a really bad cut,” explains R.J. “He cut off his whole fingertip. The doctors had to glue it back on!”

R.J. didn’t want this to happen again. So he got to work figuring out a way to protect his dad’s fingers in the kitchen. He was 13 when he sketched his first design in his notebook. It turned into an invention called Tip Tough. Chefs can wear the device while chopping up food. It protects the chef’s fingers from cuts and helps hold the food in place.

Shortly after coming up with his idea, R.J. attended a special program. It’s called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This national program teaches middle and high school students how to start and run a business. R.J. attended it at the Chamber of Commerce in Salisbury, Maryland. “They helped me start my business from the ground up,” he says. 

On the Job

A big part of R.J.’s business is showing people how Tip Tough works by holding demonstrations at markets, fairs, and more. “I’m constantly talking the whole day,” R.J. says. “I sit there and demo my product. Once people see it, they go, ‘I need that.’”

Because R.J. relies on local events to tell people about Tip Tough, most of his sales are from the East Coast where he lives. But R.J. wants to change that. “Our goal is to break out nationally,” he says.

A big part of R.J.’s business is holding demonstrations. He shows people how Tip Tough works at markets, fairs, and more. “I’m constantly talking the whole day,” says R.J. “I sit there and demonstrate my product. Once people see it, they go, ‘I need that.’”

R.J. relies on local events to tell people about Tip Tough. That means most of his customers are on the East Coast where he lives. But R.J. wants to change that. “Our goal is to break out nationally,” he says.

Courtesy of Tip Tough

R.J. teaching a class about running a business

What I've Learned

To help support other young inventors and entrepreneurs, R.J. gives talks at local schools about the invention process and teaches kids how to get patents for their ideas. A patent is official recognition from the U.S. government saying that only the patent holder has the right to make and sell an invention. R.J. is still working on getting the patent for Tip Tough—it’s a long process!

R.J.’s advice for aspiring inventors? Write down everything. “Everybody forgets that quick idea they think of, but that quick idea can lead to a business, like mine did,” he says.

R.J also wants to support other young inventors. He gives talks at local schools about the invention process. He also teaches kids how to get patents for their ideas. A patent is official recognition from the U.S. government. It says that only the patent holder has the right to make and sell an invention. R.J. is still working on getting the patent for Tip Tough. It’s a long process!

R.J.’s advice for aspiring inventors? Write down everything. “Everybody forgets that quick idea they think of,” he says. “But that quick idea can lead to a business, like mine did.”

Courtesy of Tip Tough

R.J. demonstrates Tip Toughs at a fair.

MATH BEHIND THE BUSINESS

KEY MATH IDEA: Prototypes with nets

Most inventions go through multiple different versions, called prototypes, before they’re finalized. Prototypes help inventors test materials and determine the final product’s size, shape, weight, and more. You can make your own simple prototypes out of paper by creating nets. A net is a 2-D pattern than can be folded into a 3-D shape.

KEY MATH IDEA: Prototypes with nets

Most inventions go through multiple different versions, called prototypes, before they’re finalized. Prototypes help inventors test materials and determine the final product’s size, shape, weight, and more. You can make your own simple prototypes out of paper by creating nets. A net is a 2-D pattern than can be folded into a 3-D shape.

Here’s how R.J. does it. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

Here’s how R.J. does it. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

Diagram Illustration by Eyewash; Zemtsov Aleksandr/Shutterstock.com (Cassette)

R.J.’s inspiration came from a cassette tape case. Its J-shaped part is made of three rectangles connected along their long sides with the dimensions at right. Draw a net for this shape.

R.J.’s inspiration came from a cassette tape case. Its J-shaped part is made of three rectangles connected along their long sides with the dimensions at right. Draw a net for this shape.

A large Tip Tough is made of one folded piece of stainless steel. It’s a modified rectangular prism with one extended face and an opening you put your fingers in. Draw a net of a Tip Tough.

A large Tip Tough is made of one folded piece of stainless steel. It’s a modified rectangular prism with one extended face and an opening you put your fingers in. Draw a net of a Tip Tough.

Back to top
videos (2)
videos (2)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Skills Sheets (6)
Games (1)
Lesson Plan (1)