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TV series Make48 brings inventor competition to the Kansas State School for the Blind

Woman wearing a cap and striped shirt gestures and talks at a microphone
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Lyra Thompson (above) was a participant in the competition and a member of Team Little Red Hens.

Students at The Kansas State School for the Blind in Kansas City, Kansas, participated in the public television competition Make48, where teams have just two days to prototype, build and present their invention.

On the public television series Make48, contestants have exactly two days to plan, build and pitch a brand new invention.

For their sixth season, Make48 headed to the Kansas State School for the Blind, where all the contestants were blind or visually impaired. Thomas Gray, creator and CEO of the show, says it was a competition just like any other.

"The students just were treated like normal and that's what we wanted to prove." Gray said. "They have just as good idea ideation and design capabilities as anyone else that we work with."

Collaboration, of course, was key. The students were challenged to come up with an invention around the theme of “Chickens in the Kitchen." The teams created a prototype, shot a promotional video and developed a sales sheet, before presenting their final idea before a panel of judges.

"We were all on an even playing field," said Lyra Thompson, a member of Team Little Red Hens. "Whether you were totally blind or you had like a lot of remaining vision, the goal was that you can still have all the good ideas and come up with them and communicate that to the people."

Once announced, the winning team will be presented with a $2,000 check. It'll also advance them to the national competition in March 2023 at the University of Missouri- Kansas City.

  • Thomas Gray, creator and CEO of Make48
  • Lyra Thompson, contestant on Make48
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