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WNY students advance to Invention Convention U.S. Nationals



STAFF REPORTS


Student inventors from Western New York are on their way (virtually) to Invention Convention U.S. Nationals after recently winning at the Western New York Invention Convention.

2nd Place Inventor of the Year: 4th-8th Grade
Makayla Wilkins, 4th Grade, Edison Elementary School, Tonawanda
The Dancing Suitcase- A portable studio, complete with Ballet Barre, Tap and Acromat surfaces, and places to hang costumes. View the video.

3rd Place: 4th-8th Grade (tied) 
Timothy Johansen and Dominic Blackstone, Grades 6 and 7, representing the Rivendell Raptors from Rivendell Study Center, Tonawanda:
Closed System Snow Melting Heat Generator- A way to melt snow on a roof and use the hydro-turbine power created by the melted snow to create the energy needed to melt the snow. View the video.

3rd Place: 4th-8th Grade (tied) 
Chloe March, 4th Grade, Colonial Village Elementary School, Niagara Falls:
Beat the Cheat Cardholder- A cardholder that keeps others from seeing your hand of cards. View the video.

1st Place Inventor of the Year: Kindergarten-3rd Grade
Owen Thomas, Kindergarten, West Street Elementary School, Sanborn:
Get Moving!- A game for the whole family that promotes physical activity and gets them "off their screens". View the video.

This year, hundreds of students and dozens of educators participated in the the program's invention education program. The virtual awards ceremony took place on May 29.

"Our region is full of talented and bright young learners, and this celebration of invention gives students the opportunity to share what they have created," said Merry Constantino, Executive Director of the Western New York Invention Convention. "This competition gets students involved in authentic, project-based learning while demonstrating creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking — all important 21st century skills.”

Instead of demonstrating their inventions and being interviewed by judges in person, inventors from Kindergarten through 8th grade had to plan, create, and submit a 4 to 6 minute video of themselves telling the judges about their invention journey. The judges, all from STEM fields in locations across Western New York viewed and rated those videos on a variety of criteria- also virtually.

"These students identified many challenges that reflect the circumstances they have been living in for the last few months," Constantino said. "They brainstormed solutions and built prototypes that they tested and improved."

This year's competition included inventions that reflected upon social distancing such as "Tie Mask" and "Handi-Sani-Pen". There were inventions that reflected on family activities such as "Get Moving" and "Beat the Cheat Cardholder". And what about all the extra eating and sleeping people have been doing? There was the" Cake Cutter 2000", "Helpful Table", "Diet Sensor", and "Comfy Napper"! Other inventions showcased ways to assist others such as "The Climbing Walker", Adjustable Swingset For Every Body", and "Playground Sensor Pads".

"Now more than ever, we need to prepare students to be creative problem-solvers," Constantino added. "In fact, we have a duty to encourage our students to think differently."

The Invention Convention U.S. Nationals Virtual Awards Ceremony will take place on July 2 at 4 PM PDT as a Facebook Watch Party on Invention Convention Worldwide's page.

About the Western New York Invention Convention
The mission of Western New York Invention Convention is to develop and enhance creative thinking and problem-solving skills in children in grades K-8 through the processes of invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship- while encouraging interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). We are proud to provide a forum that encourages creative and critical thinking, trains educators to pass on these skills, and showcases the rich creativity of the youth in our community at our annual event. WNY Invention Convention celebrates young inventors from public, private, and charter schools as well as home schools and Scout troops.

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