Engaging STEM activities are inspiring creative inventions at a few Mt. Vernon elementary schools! Fortville Elementary School (FES) third grade teachers hosted an Invention Convention on Friday, March 6, and Mt. Comfort Elementary (MCE) also hosted an Invention Convention just before Spring Break. Each third grader was tasked to invent a device using simple machines that would be useful in everyday life. Some of the simple machines they could include are: a lever, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, or a screw. Students then presented their final invention to their class.
At FES, the teachers had their selected top three class finalists; those 15 students presented their inventions in front of all of the FES third graders and a panel of three judges, including two community partners from the Fortville Feeders company and the FES principal, Mrs. Muffler.
Some of the FES top 15 inventions included: “The Can Crusher Recycler,” a device that will help you recycle by crushing your soda cans for you; “The Magic Toothbrush,” a toothbrush with a device that will dispense toothpaste directly onto the bristles to help avoid the mess; “Skittle-Matic,” an automatic skittle dispenser, and many more!
Though the FES inventions were all extremely creative and useful, only one inventor could win “Inventor of the Year.” This year’s winner was Jaylnn Ralstin; her invention, “The Easy Squeezy” is a tool that will squeeze a tube of product to make sure that you get every last drop out of your favorite lotions, hair products, toothpaste, etc.
FES principal, Mrs. Muffler, even took the time to recognize the students who presented by stating, “It is not easy to be a student in third grade and present in front of all of these people; these boys and girls that came up here were brave!” She also recognized the teachers’ hard work by gifting them with supplies for their classroom.
MCE began the process of selecting their classroom winners to prepare for the invention convention. Many MCE third graders have created inventions that are targeted towards helping with the daily life of themselves and their peers, while some have created inventions that apply to almost anyone.
Some of the inventions in Ms. Wade’s third grade class included: “Cayden’s Bed Maker Cranker,” a device that will automatically make your bed; “The Lazy Machine,” a device that will transfer items up and down the stairs for you; and “Avery’s Kandy Drop,” a machine that will drop candy down a ramp into your bowl or cup.
The students were extremely engaged in their peers’ inventions. Many students asked questions about how the inventions were made and even gave suggestions on places or situations where the inventions would be most useful.
Ms. Wade stated, “I feel the Invention Convention allows students to take their knowledge of the six simple machines that we learned about in class and apply it in a hands-on way. The project had to be completed at home which allowed for family involvement and problem solving. This kinesthetic, culminating project will not be something quickly forgotten by the students.”
This STEM-enriched activity has allowed the students at both elementary schools to utilize their creativity and have fun while doing so. The students also gained confidence in their ability to present their ideas by explaining their inventions to their peers and teachers.
To view more photos from these events, click HERE