Young inventors from Delaware County will be participating Thursday in a national convention near Washington, D.C.
The National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship event is an annual celebration of elementary to high school inventors and entrepreneurs from across the nation. The event provides a live, in-person opportunity for youth inventors and entrepreneurs in grades 3-12 to display their critical thinking skills through inventing, innovating and entrepreneurial activities.
Seventy-five students were selected to represent Ohio, including students from Olentangy and Delaware schools.
Olentangy Cheshire Elementary School students Kai Nelson, 11, and Aiden Garner, 9, designed a hockey helmet to make it easier for young players to put on. They said a traditional helmet takes about 30 minutes, while their prototype would take about less than a minute. They call it the “Easy Hockey Helmet Clip.”
“I like that we actually built it,” Nelson said.
Nelson has played hockey for eight years, while Garner has played for five years.
April Gravitt and April Garner, Kai and Aiden’s moms, respectively, said their sons have the chance to win a patent for their prototype, one of the top prizes from the convention. It could open doors for them to work with established helmet companies or start their own future business.
Other Olentangy students attending include seventh graders Ella Walls and Rishika Gorai who invented the “Eraser Vac;” third grader Michael Kromhout with the “Selfie Soaper;” third grader Niveditha Kadiam with the “Smart Aid Kit;” eighth grader Caleb Stull with the “Smoke Tornado;” and third grader Bhavana Balamurugan with the “Talking Toothbrush.”
On the other hand, third grader Ava Stake will be representing Delaware Ervin Carlisle Elementary School. She competed in the convention last year via online. This year she’ll be attending the event at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, 600 Dulany St., Alexandria, Va.
Stake’s invention this year is the “Handy Helper Cane,” which is designed to help carry items such as soda cans. Stake made this for her grandfather, Bob Matthews, who lost movement in his left hand after a stroke.
“I wanted to make an invention where he can carry his stuff,” she said.
The National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo is an event created by the STEMIE Coalition, a national committee of experts creating an education framework to elevate youth invention and entrepreneurship education to a core part of K-12 education.
The convention goes through Saturday.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.