Crazy in­ven­tor at 11!

Mikalah’s imag­i­na­tion knows no bounds!

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - As told to Jac­que­line Mey

I crossed my fin­gers as I steered down the ramp

Mikalah Strick­ling, 11, Cen­tral Coast, NSW

Want­ing to see what all the bang­ing was about, I peered through the stair­case and watched my dad, Ja­cob, tin­ker­ing in his work­shop.

As a sci­ence teacher he was al­ways turn­ing junk into cool toys. And I loved be­ing first to test his in­ven­tions.

There was a cus­tomised go-kart to take out the bins and a DIY scooter leaf blower!

‘Wow, Dad can I play with that?’ I asked.

‘If you lend me a hand you can,’ he said.

Jump­ing at the chance, I helped twist and turn, glue and screw un­til it was com­plete.

Awe­some! I thought ad­mir­ing our lat­est cre­ation.

Head­ing to the junk yard on the weekend, I couldn’t wait to see what was there.

‘What are you look­ing for to­day?’ Dad would ask.

‘Any­thing and ev­ery­thing,’ I gig­gled.

The truth was, I didn’t know what I was af­ter.

The yard al­ways in­spired me to in­vent things I hadn’t even thought of.

‘Per­fect!’ I yelled, spot­ting a kids’ ride-on car.

Find­ing some metal poles I shared my plan with Dad.

‘I want to build an am­phibi­ous car,’ I told him.

A car that could drive on land – and in the wa­ter!

Ev­ery af­ter­noon, I rushed home from school to work on it. Dad helped when I needed the cir­cu­lar saw to cut through metal. But I did ev­ery­thing else, glu­ing and drilling ma­te­ri­als in place and wa­ter­proof­ing the bat­tery pack.

Now I just have to wait,

I thought, ad­ding the last piece of flota­tion foam.

With a touch of my favourite shade of pink paint, a week later, it was ready!

‘Woohoo!’ I squealed hear­ing the en­gine roar.

Zoom­ing down the street in my new wheels I raced to­wards the wa­ter.

Then I crossed my fin­gers as I steered down the ramp onto the lake.

‘It’s work­ing!’ I heard Dad yell from the shore.

Float­ing around in my own am­phibi­ous car, my cheeks were sore from smil­ing.

But my in­ven­tions haven’t stopped there.

‘Stop suck­ing your thumb,’ I heard Dad whinge to my lit­tle brother Sa­muel one day.

‘I know just the thing for that!’ I said head­ing down to the work­shop.

De­tach­ing an arm from an old doll, I stuck it to a me­chan­i­cal de­vice on a bike hel­met.

Pop­ping the hard hat on Sa­muel I stood back with the re­mote.

As soon as my brother stuck his thumb in his mouth I pressed a but­ton.

The hand came swing­ing down from the hel­met gen­tly slap­ping Sa­muel’s hand away from his mouth.

‘Well done, Mikky!’ Dad laughed.

Some peo­ple test their in­ven­tions out on ro­bots, but I have my fam­ily!

From so­lar-pow­ered kayaks to an alarm that stops peo­ple rock­ing on their chair, I am al­ways think­ing of what I will make next.

I’m even ap­pear­ing on Chan­nel 7’s new show Lit­tle Big Shots to show off my crazy in­ven­tions.

I don’t think I will ever stop be­cause where’s the fun in that!

Chan­nel 7’s Lit­tle Big Shots airs this Sun­day at 7pm.

Shane Ja­cob­son and me on Lit­tle Big Shots Dad’s in­ven­tion for tak­ing out the bin

Dad and me in the work­shop My fam­ily and me

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