“Invention Convention” Sparks Ideas of New Safety Device, Sporting Equipment, and Solar-Powered Video Game System

After several weeks spent studying some of the world’s most influential inventors, students capitalized on their creative-thinking and problem-solving skills to develop their own devices for the second annual Invention Convention. Be it a piece of sports equipment, like the Lacrosse Boss or a child-proof airbag for cars, the student pairings exceed expectations with their solutions to real-world problems.

“The Child Air Bag is a smaller and semi-deflated airbag that is safer for young children,” students Andrew Carrie and Henry Hamlin explained. “Our invention will make parents feel so much less concerned about their child’s safety knowing they won’t be hit with an adult airbag if the car gets into an accident.”

“Getting children to engage in the design process as they worked on these inventions and creations has been great practice in terms of collaborating with one another to solve a problem, learning to fail and try again, and then perfecting the speaking component in the form of a trade show, Chelle Wabrek, Assistant Head of Lower School said.

Leading up to the convention, students were instructed to complete a “Student Patent Application” that included an explanation and sketch of their invention. The application required an analysis of how the invention could positively contribute to society. Once approved by their teacher, the students received a patent number and permission to begin writing their business plan and consumer information presentations.

Each invention also needed to have a creative name, company title, the price of the device, and where it could be purchased. Some groups even went so far as to create slogans, jingles, and T-shirts to better market their products.

“Everyone was thoroughly engaged throughout this student-driven project,” fourth-grade teacher Brenda Wilder said. “The unit really allowed fourth graders to demonstrate independence and ownership, and they thrived!”

Does your school do something similar?

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