By Kristin Bednarski
More than 20 Batavia Middle School students participated in the “Just Think” Cincinnati Ohio region Invention Convention at Fairfield Senior High School April 27.
Jackie Chambers, a sixth grade science teacher at Batavia Middle School, said the competition was a great opportunity for the students.
“All of my sixth graders are required for my class to do an invention, a display, and a journal,” Chambers said. “We had our local convention here February 28. Thirty students were selected to move on to the city convention this past Saturday.”
Chambers said the city convention is still growing, with two other school districts currently participating.
“This is the third year for it,” Chambers said. “We have been at it all three years.”
Chambers said the convention provides students with an opportunity to share their ideas in front of judges at a young age.
“The thing I love most about it, is no matter what academic ability they have, they can compete in this,” Chambers said. “There are few academic competitions at this age where they are able to do that.”
Chambers said 22 of her students ended up attending the city convention. She said their inventions “ran the gamut.”
Nathan Martz, a sixth grader who participated in the convention, said he invented a turf treadmill to help athletes who train outside.
“My invention looks like an actual treadmill,” Nathan said. “Where the rubber part is, it is actually turf.”
Nathan said his invention allows athletes to use their cleats and come inside and train just like they were outside.
Nathan said he had fun sharing his invention at the convention.
“It was good to show people what I did,” he said. “It’s showing my ideas and what I can think of.”
Kyah Lowe, also a sixth grader, said she invented a sensor that opens a door for someone if their hands are full.
“My grandma and my mom were having trouble with it, so I thought maybe I could invent something,” Kyah said.
She said being able to invent something and share it with others was cool.
“I thought it was cool for me to invent something by myself, something that adults probably wouldn’t think of,” Kyah said.
Joey Rodriguez, a sixth grader who participated in the competition, was one of the award winners.
Joey invented the Pedal Buddy, a pedal machine for under a desk that when used could generate power to charge electronics.
“I was thinking about how at school, we have free time every Friday and since it has been raining we have been indoors,” Joey said. “My iPod is always dead. I thought, if you could use that you can charge your iPod and stuff.”
Joey said the Pedal Buddy would also be good for students who have a lot of energy and need to keep moving even when they are at their desk.
Joey earned the Best in Show award for his invention at the competition and received a $2,500 scholarship.
“That was great,” Joey said about earning the award. “I was nervous at first because I was seeing all my friends get awards, but at the end when they announced my name, I was really excited about that.”
Chambers said the invention convention is one of the only competitions she knows of that students can receive scholarship money at such a young age.
Chambers said many of the students received awards at the competition. Jordan Buelterman, Sam Donaldson, Emily Hill, Tom Lee, Nadeen Mustafa, Max Nicolaus, Morgan Walsh, Emma Watson and Savannah Smith won $50 scholarships.
Emma Watson also earned the Beyond the Bean Award and a $300 scholarship. Gabe Iker, McCartney Bender and Jasmine Wendel earned $500 scholarships for being the overall sixth and seventh grade winners, and Joey Rodriguez earned the Best of Show award.
Chambers said they will be participating in the event next year, and said she hopes it continues to grow.
“It is such a good opportunity,” Chambers said.