Inventors on Display at the Elementary
Malad Elementary School’s “Invention Convention” was held at the school last week. The Convention was a chance for students to show off their problem solving and engineering skills to the large crowd of parents who flocked to see this year’s inventions, which ranged from the utterly practical to the more quixotic.
The Invention Convention is a recent program from Malad Elementary School to increase interest and involvement with STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) subjects. Students were encouraged to identify something that could be improved, or a problem that could be solved, and come up with a plan and model of their idea.
On the practical side, Isaac Bird invented movable hand grips for monkey bars, which would allow both shorter and taller kids to have equal access to the equipment. Bentley Godfrey developed a “gun strap” that would allow hunters and users of fire arms to keep them accessible and usable in a variety of circumstances. Jocelyn Purdum’s “Jar Scooper” is a device that fits into the underside of a jar lid, and allows the user to turn it order to fully remove the jars contents before throwing it away. Kaicen Clark decided to improve the function of lubricant spray to help with a variety of household and other tasks. Sawyer Beutler developed a “Refrigerator Spring” to make placing and retrieving items from the refrigerator doors easier. On a similar note, Sylvie Gleckler developed a “Quick Restocker” to resupply shelves with needed items based on their scan codes.
Ivy Wright invented a “Playful Robot” to help kids with homework, and provide someone to talk to and play with. Draven Wise’s “Fold-o-Tron” can create any number of items through 3-D printing, which can expand outside the confines of the device itself to create longer or larger objects.
Cassidy Schrenk’s very practical invention “the Marker Saver” allows users to swing a marker around on a fixed pivot (a string) in order to restore the maximum amount of ink to the tip possible. Gage Steed’s ambitious “Animal Feeder Eater” provides a mechanized way for young kids to feed their animals in the morning with a minimum of discomfort.
Overall, the Invention Convention provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn the basic principles of problem solving and applied science. Each of the projects required a plan, a description, and a model or diagram. The steps involved in creating the projects mimic the steps involved in engineering and mechanics projects that students are likely to encounter in their future careers or academic work.
Many of the inventions, as mentioned, were also highly practical, which lets students see the STEM concepts have uses beyond the abstract and that engineering and science are things that they can use in their every day lives to benefit themselves and others.
Most of the students on hand were very proud to show off their ideas, and very confident explaining them to the large streams of adults that made their way through the fourth and fifth grade classrooms with questions. While some of the inventions may never ultimately see the light of day, some of them have an excellent chance of being available at a shop near you soon!