More than 100 kids showcased their ideas at the 11th annual Western New York Invention Convention, held recently at Medaille College in Buffalo. It was created to promote creative thinking and encourage scientific problem solving.
This year’s "Invention Convention" brought kids from kindergarten through 8th grade from 14 western New York schools out to exhibit their innovative ideas. Director Merry Constantino says the event pushes kids to think outside the box.
“We’re giving them tools to go out into the world and be successful. In any career that they choose they’re going to recognize that a problem is just a challenge that they can overcome,” said Constantino.
Students were not required to create a prototype, just a well-thought-out plan with pictures. The featured ideas included a kit that helps let your friends know you’re being bullied called the "Bully Dozer Friend Kit" by 5th grader Hope Grunert who won the Directors choice award.
Other inventions included a fork that keeps your food hot by 8th graders Eden Hunt and Jensen Daniels, a washer that will move clothes into the dryer by 5th grader Jordan Richheimer, and a gadget that will help you find your keys by 6th grader Evan Ruttenberg.
Fourth grader Ruby Soudant won first place in the k-4th grade category for her invention “Taco Tape.”
“This is an edible tape that you wrap around soft tacos to keep the filling from falling out,” said Soudant.
Ruby’s mother Shasti O’leary-Soudant says empowering children to come up with solutions to their problems is very important.
“There are some really brilliant ideas here, like some beautiful, simple, elegant ideas done by these kids and to encourage them to have a sense of ability that they can be important and improve the world is just [important.] I’m bursting right now,” said O’leary-Soudant.
All schools public, private and charter are invited to participate in the event each year.