So much to celebrate this year! In spite of all the barriers to participation created by California weather causing schools to close and homes to flood, our teachers, students (and parents!) and judges came through – with 335 inventors, representing 80 school and after school programs from all across California. Check out the list of participantsand their inventions.
The three top awards are the Analog Devices Best in Show, Central Coast Patent Agency Most Marketable Invention, and The Eagan Family Foundation Most Innovative Invention. Additionally this year, we have 2 new awards: The Big Thinker Award and Girls Inventing the Future. Read about our top award winners:
The team of Charlotte Fan and Wyatt Newbill, 8th graders from Manhattan Beach Middle School, for their invention Terreus.
The Problem: Polystyrene and plastic foams are both used as insulators and packaging materials, however these plastics are horrible for our planet. The amount of plastics in the ecosystem produced by the plastic packaging industry ends up killing seabirds, sea turtles, seals, and other marine mammals after ingesting plastic or getting entangled in it. Humans are also affected by microplastics which can come from a variety of sources including larger plastic pieces that have broken apart, resin pellets used for plastic manufacturing, or in the form of micro beads (normally derived from Styrofoam). Microplastics can enter human bodies through ingestion and inhalation; they are then taken up in various organs and affect one’s health by damaging cells or inducing inflammatory and immune reactions.
Charlotte and Wyatt’s Solution: Our product Terreus is a 100% biodegradable substitute for Styrofoam and solves the problem of microplastics.. Terreus is made from 4 simple materials that are sustainable and eco-friendly. It is strong enough to be used in packaging. As it is 100% biodegradable, it has no impact on the environment. It will not break down into harmful microplastics, so it will not kill any marine wildlife, or be ingested or inhaled by humans. There are only two main competitors to Terreus, and neither are entirely biodegradable.
Jerry Spivack was a research scientist with Bell Laboratories and AT&T who passed away this year. He worked with many of the early creators of AI and with some of the most creative minds responsible for combining technology and the arts. He supported The California Invention Convention from its inception, and as the head of Mensa’s Gifted program for young people in New York State, he believed that every child is gifted until we convince them otherwise.
The team of Levi Newman and Elena Potes, 5th graders from Main Street Elementary in Soquel for their invention Helpful Hoodie.
The Problem: Some people are sensitive to loud noises or need help focusing. They don’t want to wear noise cancelling headphones because they are big, uncomfortable and embarrassing. Also, headphones are something extra to carry around with them.
Elena and Levi’s Solution: Our invention solves the problem because it has noise cancelling material in the hood. This allows people to be able to reduce the sounds around them by just putting their hood up. It also has a blue tooth speaker inside, so they are able to listen to music, white noise or green noise to help them calm down or let them focus. This is helpful for people who might have autism, ADHD, or anxiety.
Levi and Elena will each receive $150 from the Payne family.