By ABBY SLANKER
Canfield Village Middle School fifth-graders showed off their creative sides during the school’s annual Invention Convention May 31. Students, working in groups, were required to created an invention to present and ‘sell’ at the convention.
Amanda Zion, Michelle Head and Valerie Weingart, the three fifth-grade science teachers, were teaching a unit on inventions and technology when they divided their classes into groups and assigned each group to come up with their own invention together.
The students worked on the project at school for approximately three to four weeks and each kept an inventors notebook throughout the process. They brought in materials from home and were required to calculate what they spent on each material to come up with the ‘retail cost’ of their product.
The students invited family and friends to the convention so they could check out their work and decide if they wanted to ‘buy’ them for themselves. As they entered the convention, visitors were issued seven ‘checks’ they could fill out if they wanted to ‘buy’ an item. They were asked to consider the following criteria: uniqueness, usefulness, cost and marketing strategies. Each ‘check’ was counted as a vote, with the top three voted groups in each class being recognized and receiving a certificate.
The students were responsible for marketing their inventions and pitching products to potential buyers. Each group had a space with a display board with their company name, invention name and any other important information pertaining to their invention on it.
A prototype of the invention was also available for potential buyers to inspect. Several groups also handed out business cards and flyers they had made.
Student inventions on display at the convention included, The Bright Light Chair, The Grippy Glove, The Zuper Zwinger Bat, The Freeze Bowl and Shower Pockets.
According to Zion, Head and Weingart, the school has offered the fifth-grade Invention Convention for the past 13 years.