Cardiff School District’s Ada Harris Elementary School recently announced that fifth year pupils Taylor Egli, inventor of the Super Snowboard Pole, and partners Neev Rohatgi and Steel Cordato, inventors of the Porta-Heater, have been selected as finalists for the California Invention Convention, according to a press release. Each finalist is invited to participate in the 7th annual Invention Convention US Nationals, the last American stage of the conventions. Hosted by the Henry Ford Museum, the Nationals are currently taking place in Dearborn, Michigan from May 31 through June 3. The two inventions by Ada Harris students are among the 84 total inventions by California students who have been invited to compete in the Nationals.
An avid snowboarder, Taylor thought of her invention while on a family vacation to Mammoth after seeing several beginner snowboarders having trouble getting up and down lifts and having to get off their boards to get back up after a fall. The Super Snowboard Pole gives the snowboarder extra stability with lifts and helps novices navigate their way after a fall. Since snowboarders need their arms to maneuver the activity, smartly compact the pole and place it on a snowboard boot when descending the mountains.
The Porta-Heater invented by Neev and Steel is a portable towel warmer for heating towels at the beach, pool or lake. Users can place towels on the device and then simply turn on the battery-operated heating mechanism inside the PVC frame. During the research stage of their invention, the duo discovered that nichrome tape does not oxidize or burn at high temperatures and could be used in lightweight tubing to “warm up” towels without melting the PVC pipe. .
Before qualifying for the national championships, the student finalists went through two rounds of judging and evaluation. The first round of judging by Ada Harris staff and community members took place in March among Ada Harris’ entire 5th grade inventions. This round reduced the number of inventions to 16 who then participated in the California Invention Convention held earlier this month. Michael Mullins and Bodhi Ferguson of Ada Harris, who invented the Lace Saver, a protective lace patch that prevents laces from breaking while skateboarding, also received a Merit Award at the California Invention Convention.
In early January, all fifth graders were tasked with inventing something to help solve a problem. After coming up with an idea, students were tasked with researching the market and patents to make sure their invention didn’t already exist. The students also built a prototype and tested the inventions. The whole process was documented using a Google slide presentation. The students also prepared “presentation videos” and display boards for the judges to evaluate their inventions.
“All of our fifth graders took their inventions to the next level this year,” said Janelle Scheftner, principal of Ada Harris Elementary School. “We were incredibly impressed with each inventor’s innovation and determination to solve a problem. The Invention Convention program provides students with an experience of creativity and adaptability, a learning goal we have for each of our Cardiff School District students,” concluded Scheftner. – Press release