The News Lens international edition is sponsored by Tutor A B C

Two fifth graders from Dung-Guang Elementary School in Kaohisung have invented an automatic selfie stick that combines the traditional selfie stick with an extendable umbrella shaft. The innovation has been awarded a gold medal after competing with ten other countries at the 2015 International Exhibition for Young Inventors (IEYI). The Ministry of Education will hold a ceremony for the winners where Minister of Education, Wu Se-hwa, will greet the students and their instructors in person.

IEYI is a large-scale international event initiated by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation in 2004. Participants’ ages range from six to nineteen. Since 2008, the event has attracted about 450 participants from over ten countries every year.

CNA reports, Yen Po-cheng, one of the fifth graders who invented the award-winning device, says that it takes both hands to expand a traditional selfie stick, which becomes very inconvenient when holding other things. The inconvenience inspired their idea of incorporating the feature of automatic umbrellas into traditional selfie sticks. Once you push the button on the shaft of the renovated device, the stick will expand automatically. They also attached a compact tripod at the bottom of the stick, which features bluetooth connection, enabling users to take selfies single-handedly.

Common Wealth Magazine reports, the inventing process was not easy at all. “We failed twice,” says Yen. They started to design the gadget in mid 2014 and spent more than half a year to complete the prototype of the award-winning invention in early 2015.

When asked the reasons behind their failures, Yen explains that the button on the new device is pressed on much more frequently than the one on automatic umbrellas. As a result, the button on their selfie stick is more likely to wear out after being used for a period of time. Yen says, “We still need to improve that.”


ETtoday reports, in addition to the selfie stick, another invention by students from the same school has also been awarded a gold medal. The invention is a multi-function chair that can be extended and adjusted into different lengths and angles, allowing students to rest more comfortably during lunch breaks.

Translated by Bing-sheng Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang