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SAS Student Participating in Young Edison TV Show

February, 2018
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Currently, one Shanghai American School (SAS) Grade 8 student, Cleo Ballon, is participating in Young Edison, a talent show produced by Shanghainese Television.

His entry is a hydrogen-powered minibike that he built himself. The program is broadcasted on Saturdays at 20:05 on SMG.

“I touched my first saw back when I was five,” says Cleo, “My Grandpa had a whole garage of tools where I watched him build and fix things. I was exposed to the basics, but my first real project began when I decided to make a wooden go-cart in Fifth Grade. One day, my neighbors were throwing out their motorcycle. It had a gasoline engine – that was exactly what I needed for the frame of a go-cart sitting in my backyard. That day, I decided to start building again. I worked on it for a couple of hours a week, for two years, and I’m still working on it today.”

The SAS community may already be familiar with Cleo riding around on his hydrogen-powered minibike that he built at home. His aim is to build the world’s most environmentally friendly bike. But lately his bike has taken him to a whole new place – into the public limelight of《少年爱迪生》Young Edison, a talent show organized by Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission and Shanghai Municipal Education Commission. Children of 32 nationalities are competing for the best idea. Thousands of children applied to compete, but only few, including Cleo, made it onto the show.

When asked about his finished product, Cleo still says that he may never stop tinkering with his bike. “A lot of people ask me if it’s going to be done anytime soon,” he says. “Maybe it will, but that’s not the point. I’m elated to ride it, but I’m just as happy continuing to build it. Each time I make an adjustment, change a part, weld the materials, or sometimes even replace a whole engine, I’m glad to finish and see the small improvements I’ve made. Riding on the road, I’m smiling not because I’m riding it around like a madman, but because I’m proud that I built it.”

To see how Cleo fares in season five of Young Edison, tune in at 20:05 on SMG, the local Shanghainese Channel. 


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