Northwood students get creative for first Invention Convention

By on April 8, 2019
Camryn Frisbee, a fifth grader at Northwood Elementary School, presents his invention to help blind and visually impaired people identify items and become more independent

Camryn Frisbee, a fifth grader at Northwood Elementary School, presents his invention to help blind and visually impaired people identify items and become more independent

Fifth grade students in Melanie Klock’s REACH (gifted and talented) class at Northwood Elementary School in Hilton entered the “Shark Tank,” so to speak, when they recently presented their inventions to a panel of judges. “Each invention was derived from a current problem that exists in the school, community, or home,” said Klock. “Students learned how to conduct an effective market research plan, draw conclusions based on research, and then determine what invention to create and how to make a working prototype.”

Camryn Frisbee invented the Touch and Know, different sized labels with various textures that can be placed on items in order to help blind and visually impaired people be more independent. He was inspired by his visually-impaired grandfather, who is now using the labels. “Sometimes something simple can make a big impact on someone’s life,” said Camryn.

He received first place from the judges, which included Scott Bellinger, Rochester Institute of Technology professor of engineering and inventor of the electric bike; Dr. Barbara Surash, assistant superintendent for instruction; and Tony Ambrose, instructional technology specialist.

Students were judged on their process – identifying a problem, researching, developing, testing and improving their invention; prototype – whether the invention solves the problem and is a unique solution; and communication – oral presentation, response to questions, display and inventor’s journal documenting their process. The judges asked follow-up questions like, “How successful do you think your product will be?” and “Explain the most challenging step in your design process.”

Other inventions included the Cadet Cubby, a versatile storage system for classrooms; The Wake Alarm fire prevention system (third place); and the Fast Blast 20-20 (second place), a fog screen to disorient potential intruders to the school. In all, there were 16 inventions presented by 25 students.

All of the students met the criteria and are recommended to attend the Western New York State Invention Convention on May 11 at the Buffalo Museum and Science Center.

Camryn Frisbee, a fifth grader at Northwood Elementary School, presents his invention to help blind and visually impaired people identify items and become more independent

Camryn Frisbee, a fifth grader at Northwood Elementary School, presents his invention to help blind and visually impaired people identify items and become more independent