13-Year-Old’s Football Invention May Save Lives

Ryan Beck won third place at the California State Science Fair with a football helmet that could reduce sports-related brain injuries in pros and teens alike.

While attending a football game, Ryan Beck decided that he wanted to find a way to protect players more thoroughly. His solution? A football helmet with external padding that reduces the shock of a head on collision by 55-percent (and doesn’t look like it’s made of marshmallows).

Using a pendulum and a pressure sensor, Ryan tested out different types of foam for the best impact resistance, finally deciding on one that people stand on to relieve back pain.

Multiple head injuries can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease which former All-Pro football player Junior Seau had.

“Getting a concussion is like running with just your bare skull into a wall going 20 miles per hour,” Ryan said in an interview. For teenagers, the need to prevent these injuries is even more important.

Canadian researchers found that teens who suffer from concussions are more sensitive to its long-term effects than adults or children; they have the potential to affect short-term memory.

“They need to be protected just as much as the older players,” Ryan said.

His helmet could help save lives and prevent these injuries because it is designed specifically to protect the temporal lobe of the brain. He is looking into a patent for his invention.

ryan beck football helmet

Video: ABC News

Photo: Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens

About Abigail Ortlieb

Abigail is a graduate student at Emerson College in Boston. While she pursues her MA in electronic publishing and writing, she works as a freelance writer and editor and writes for the browser-based game, Alteil.


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