Meet 7th grader (now 8th grader) Jesse Bouchard from Maine, inventor of the Thermacup, a device that gives a visual indication of how hot the drink is inside. “Its purpose is to help you so you don’t burn your mouth when you’re drinking coffee, hot chocolate, etc.” explains Jesse. “There is a zinc screw in the bottom of the cup with thermochromic paint on the outside so you can see how the heat level changes.”
When the paint is red that means the liquid is under 113 degrees (good to drink), yellow is over 113 degrees (too hot). Of course, no prototype is perfect. “One thing I would like to change is the color of the paint on the screw, because normally red means something is too hot,” explains Jesse
Lucie Howell, Chief Learning Officer at The Henry Ford, recently interviewed Jesse as part of Invention Convention Worldwide’s ongoing series, Kid Inventor Friday.
As a fan of inventing, Jesse frequently attends the Maine Science Festival. “There’s the big convention showcase that I’ve always wanted to be in,” he reveals. “I love inventing; thinking about a problem in my life and figuring out how to solve that problem.”
Work on the Thermacup took about two and a half months from landing on the idea to finalizing the prototype. “There’s so much I’ve learned from this process,” explains Jesse. “I’ve learned a lot about marketing, the value of surveys and pricing the invention. Not having the device be too overpriced or underpriced, and making a profit.”
This entire experience has truly been a family affair for Jesse. He had a whole team behind him consisting of his mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa who assisted the young inventor in a number of ways. “I work in marketing and in spite of my professional experience, Jesse had really strong ideas about how he wanted things to be done,” explains his mom, Monique Bouchard. “I was really proud of his determination and the methodology of his ideas.”
Jesse’s advice to other young people looking to take the plunge into the world of inventing. “Do it. It’s totally worth it to do something fun like this. Other young people should invent because I’m sure they have an idea for an invention that one else has thought of that could really help the world.”