Young inventor hopes to clean up desert

Daily Press

HESPERIA — After picking up his fair share of trash during many community cleanup days, Hesperia teen Beamon Parker said he may have a solution to beautify the desert and help save the environment.

On the eve of Earth Day, the 14-year-old student of the online school California Connections Academy @ Capistrano demonstrated how his environmentally friendly device works.

“The windiest day in the High Desert is trash day,” said Parker, as the wind whipped through his blond hair. “These straps keep the trash lids from opening during windy days or from hungry animals trying to get into the cans.”

Parker’s “Trash Latch” aims to keep the lid from opening and spilling trash throughout the neighborhood, while still letting it open easily enough that the container can be dumped into a mechanical trash truck.

Parker, who lives in Hesperia with his parents, Greg and Stacy Parker, and his younger brother, Curren, said a spark of ingenuity to create the anti-pollution device hit him like a bolt of lightning last year while he was “cleaning up Hesperia.”

As he went to the drawing board to design his device as a school project, Parker decided that a strap attached to the trash container body and lid would work best.

As he worked with Advance Disposal in Hesperia to ensure that his device worked, Parker said he designed multiple prototypes.

“We had to make sure that the trash lid would stay closed, but would open as the trash can was flipped upside down and trash emptied into the trash truck,” Parker said. “I tried working with magnets, but they were too big and not strong enough. And the elastic straps were just too stretchy. It looks like the nylon straps and the bungee cord are the best so far.”

As a fan of the Star Wars movie franchise, Parker said he named his first design after Darth Vader because it was the “father of the other prototypes.” His second design was duly named “Luke” after Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker.

“He’s one smart kid,” Beamon’s mother said. “He’s always thinking, always asking questions and always creating something.”

Parker, who is still working to perfect his fully operational trash container device, said in order to help the environment and to save money, his family has installed “pause buttons” on bathroom shower heads and water saving faucets that will reduce water use by 30 percent.

First celebrated in the U.S. in 1970, Earth Day spotlights various environmental issues, and raises public awareness of air and water pollution. Today, nearly 200 countries celebrate the event each April 22.

Parker said he’s still too young to think about college but will continue to pursue his studies, especially his favorites — history and science.

“I think maybe I’d like to be a history teacher. I love learning about U.S. history and about the ancient Greek culture,” Parker said. “The ancient people of Greece were very similar to today’s culture like in the areas of academics and athletics.”

Parker, who has studied with CCA for six years, said he choose to study at home through the online charter school because traditional public school was not a fit for him. He’s not certain where his new trash can device will lead him.

“I don’t know about manufacturing and selling (the latch),” Parker said. “I just want to make sure that our desert stays clean for everybody.”


By Rene Ray De La Cruz