On May 14, The Henry Ford in Dearborn recognized the winners of Invention Convention Michigan in an online awards ceremony. The state-wide competition is part of Invention Convention Worldwide, a global program that provides students an opportunity to create and pitch inventions that solve real-world problems.
More than 2,600 students in grades 3-12 participated in Invention Convention Michigan events this year, with 155 students competing in the state finals.
John Tewolde, a fifth grader from Brendel Elementary in Grand Blanc, earned first place in the grades 3-5 competition with his Filtere, a water filter that uses granular activated carbon, ion exchange, and UV light to – within 30 seconds – remove all 30 of the particles that could contaminate water. Fourth grader Diya Ural of Village Oaks Elementary in Novi won second place with the Dispens-a-Ramp, a foldable ramp and automatic treat dispenser for dogs that have a hard time getting into cars.
First place in the grades 6-8 group went to Suhani Delela, an eighth grader from Saline, for Reinnervate, an alternative medicine used on the body’s meridian points to reduce fatigue. The Porch Pirate Preventer, a reusable device for preventing package theft made by sixth graders Akhilesh Shenoy and David Tauro of Novi Meadows Elementary, got second place in the group.
In the grades 9-12 group, Anirudh Cowlagi won first place with AstroTrack, a data analysis project that aids in the detection, recovery, and characterization of minor planets, and Jayden Smith and Siena Smith earned second with Perceive the Puzzle, a portable EEG (electroencephalogram, which uses metal disks attached to the scalp to measure the brain’s electrical activity) for those with autism. All three of the winners in this group are seniors at Huron High School in Ann Arbor.
“The skills students develop through Invention Convention are more critical now than ever before,” says Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO of The Henry Ford. “The world needs more problem-solvers and, as we’ve already seen through many of their submissions, our students are ready to rise to the challenge. We look forward to celebrating all of their hard work and providing them with the much-needed exposure and mentorship to take their ideas to the next level.”
The fifth annual Invention Convention U.S. Nationals is presented by Raytheon Technologies.
“Ingenuity and agility are being demonstrated by students around the world. Seeing this year’s convention ― and its participants ― shift their inventive spirit as needed to host a virtual experience is heartening,” says Randy Bumps, executive director of corporate social responsibility at Raytheon Technologies. “We hope that our support of programs like Invention Convention will continue to encourage student problem-solving, next-generation innovations, and a passion for lifelong learning.”
The winners have qualified to compete at the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, which have been moved online. An online awards ceremony will be hosted on the Invention Convention Worldwide and The Henry Ford’s social channels on July 2.
To participate, each student must submit a video presentation of their invention, a prototype, an inventor’s logbook showing their invention process, and a poster board highlighting key points of the invention process.
This year’s prizes include pro-bono patent awards from law firms including Wilmerhale, Cooley and Cantor Colburn, professional prototyping assistance from design firms such as IDEAZ, and invention experiences with Koch Industries and other partners.
More information on the Michigan winners is available here.