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Paper Helmets May Solve A Problem For Bike Renters
Meet the cheap, foldable, disposable bike helmet (CCSS Level: Grade 9, Words: 296)
Nov 16, 2016 Science & Technology

Recent figures show that cycling sends more than 500,000 Americans to the emergency room each year, and around 85,000 report head injuries. Hard knocks on the head are especially dangerous as they can cause skull fractures, concussions, and other brain damage, often permanently. Right now, cyclists overwhelmingly prefer today's plastic-covered, polystyrene-foam helmets because they are light in weight, ventilated and fairly cheap. However many people ride hired or shared bikes and they have no helmet at all.

However a paper product wouldn't be many people's first thought when they were looking for a new type of bike helmet. But a design based on exactly that idea, has just won James Dyson's international inventors' competition. Industrial designer Isis Shiffer was traveling overseas and using the bike sharing systems available in many countries. It was then that she got the idea that would eventually become her disposable, paper helmets.

"I was abroad in London, and Tokyo, and other places, and there were never any helmets available, and I was really anxious because I was riding on the wrong side of the road, and I was absolutely convinced that I was gonna get flattened. So, I thought that there really needed to be something there for cyclists like myself," Shiffer said.

Shiffer's paper creations, which she has named Eco Helmets, are made of waterproof paper folded into a honeycomb pattern, which is good at absorbing shocks and impacts. She foresees the time when they will be sold in vending machines or even at businesses such as coffee shops and railway stations. Ms Shiffer is now working toward getting certification from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

With the prize money of 30,000 pounds, she is going to develop her design further and develop her own consultancy business.

Which group of people usually ride a bike with no helmet at all?
people who are traveling
people who rent bicycles
people who live in London
people who own their own bike
Why was Ms Shiffer so worried about riding without a helmet in foreign cities?
she was riding on a different side of the road
she did not know how to ride a bike properly
she could not speak the language to ask directions
she wanted a plastic and polystyrene helmet
Paper helmets are good at absorbing impacts because…
the paper has many layers glued together
the paper is folded in a special way
paper is naturally a very strong material
paper is biodegradable and recyclable
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taking in or soaking up






worried or uneasy



able to be used



a group that supplies goods or services to buyers



a payment to an agent for services



a contest to see who is the winner



a violent shock from a heavy blow



knocked unconscious



persuade, make people believe something



riding a bicycle



a person who rides a bicycle



hurt or cause harm



something likely to cause harm or injury



likely to cause harm or injury, not safe



to be used once then thrown away



serious or dangerous situation



in the end, after a period of time



as far as can be seen or predicted



breaks in bones or other hard materials



steer (as in boat or ship)



a hard padded had for protection    



sweet liquid made from nectar collected by bees    



a strong effect



related to industry



hurt or damage to the body



existing between two or more countries



an important task, usually involving travel



very great in amount or force



too many to resist



lasting forever, never ending



lasting forever, for all time



man made material such as pvc or nylon



not long ago



better or greater than usual



the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground



a test of how something works    



letting air enter and move freely



how heavy something is