McKinney Fifth-Grader Invents Device to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

The Oasis would attach to a car seat and blow cold air on a child, keeping his or her core temperature down.

Toddler boy sleeping in car seat

A fifth-grader from McKinney has designed a device that could prevent hot car deaths. 

10-year-old Bishop Curry

10-year-old Bishop Curry [ Courtesy of Bishop Curry IV ]

When his 6-month-old neighbor died after being locked in a hot car, Bishop Curry V, decided to invent something that could stop heat-related deaths in the future.

Named for the cool pools of water in the desert, Bishop’s gadget, the Oasis, would attach to a car seat and detect if a child is present. Until authorities and parents are notified, the device could blow cold air on the child, keeping his or her core temperature down.

“It took me a couple minutes to draw it up,” Bishop said. “I figured out what to put in it based on the situation, and solve all the problems by putting solutions in it.”

Bishop, who said he wants to be a weapons engineer when he grows up, enlisted the help of his father, Bishop Curry IV, an engineer at Toyota in Plano.

“When he first showed me the idea, I knew it was a great idea. … The next question he asked me was ‘can your company build it?’ I looked at him, and in my mind I was thinking, that’s gonna be a long shot. I owed it to him to at least try to find somebody within Toyota that would at least give me a yes or no,” Curry said. 

Toyota said it didn’t have the capabilities to build the device, but offered to send Curry’s son to the Advances in Child Injury Prevention Conference in Michigan, where he could learn more about car safety. 

“I credit Toyota for appreciating the way he was thinking and giving him a chance to grow in his understanding of all of the science and technology that takes place behind the scenes of keeping children safe in cars,” Curry said.

Bishop said it was a neat experience. 

“I hope that the Oasis will save many lives.”

BISHOP CURRY V

“We learned about the child injury programs, and we learned about the head and the spine and how they react to car crashes,” Bishop said. 

When he returned to Melissa Ridge Intermediate School the following week, his teacher announced his experience in the school newsletter which made its way to the Anna-Melissa Tribune. More local outlets picked it up and eventually Bishop’s story spread nationally and internationally.  

Curry said that as a parent, he feels like he owes it to his son to put the Oasis into production. 

Right now, they have a provisional patent that protects the copyright of the invention. The next step is raising enough money to get an intellectual property attorney to help patent the idea and move it into production.

The estimated cost for the attorney is $20,000 to $30,000. They’ve turned to crowdfunding to secure the funds by setting up a GoFundMe page. The campaign surpassed its $20,000 goal by $246 at the time this story was published. 

After all the attention, Curry wants to keep life as normal as possible for his 10-year-old son. 

“He is a normal kid who is blessed with the ability to be super creative,” Curry said. “The other thing about him is he is so compassionate. His heart goes out to people in unfortunate situations, that’s special about him. We want to nurture that as well.”

Bishop’s favorite subject is science. He said he enjoys tinkering with things and plans to create more life-saving inventions. 

“Usually if I wanna build something I build it, to have something fun to do or give me something to do,” Bishop said. “I hope that the Oasis will save many lives.”


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