Students Get Creative At Invention Convention

By Teresa Thomas
Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Calling all future women in business!  Kids Unlimited Academy’s annual Invention convention may be the place to get your start!  During the event, students pitched their inventions to judges, community members and fellow students as if they were on ABC’s “Shark Tank,”  So which one of these aspiring entrepreneurs will we see on the actual “Shark Tank” one day?  There is no shortage of competition.

Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.

With the help of her “What You Say” machine, Adi Mendoza, 10, would be able to understand her 2-year-old brother’s gibberish and her dog’s yips and barks.

The fifth-grade inventor demonstrated her prototype — a long tube attached to a cardboard box — Wednesday at Kids Unlimited Academy’s second annual Invention Convention.

“You just have the animal or child speak into the tube, and it’s processed and comes out in English,” Adi explained matter-of-factly.

“I have a little baby brother who talks to me, but I don’t understand him, and it stresses me out,” she said.

For the Invention Convention, third- and fourth-graders were tasked with designing their own rain gauges and anemometers, while the fifth-graders were asked to develop an invention that would solve a problem in the world.

“Some immediately knew what they wanted to do, and others took two weeks just to come up with the idea,” said David Tourzan, the school’s science director.

During the convention, students had to pitch their inventions to judges, community members and fellow students as if they were on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” in which aspiring entrepreneurs present their products to investors.

The sharks — or judges, in this case — were local meteorologist Adam Colpak, the charter school’s principal, Lynn Eccleston, and Colleen Cavanaugh, a graduate student studying environmental education at Southern Oregon University.

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