Hopewell's Invention Convention Fosters Creativity, Problem-Solving

Hopewell's Invention Convention Fosters Creativity, Problem-Solving
Posted on 05/02/2016
Hopewell's Invention Convention Fosters Creativity, Problem-Solving
On March 23, dozens of fifth grade students at Hopewell Elementary took over the school’s gym, filling it with original gadgets worthy of a viewing on Shark Tank. Working solo or in pairs, the students researched a problem they wanted to address, then designed and created a prototype of their solution as part of the school’s first Invention Convention event.

“It was amazing to see the variety and creativity expressed through the students’ inventions,” says Carrie Murray, one of the teachers founding the event. “They were unique and yet functional, each somehow tackling that specific issue.”

A program of the Ohio Academy of Science, the Invention Convention is designed to bolster curiosity, discovery and innovation as a way to enhance student performance and learning. The challenges closely adhere to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concept and Ohio’s Learning Standards.

“I’m very pleased with how receptive our students were to the convention,” says Principal Christina French. “We had plenty of entries and there was so much excitement about the event. Plus, students were so proud of their original work and problem-solving skills. All of our students seemed to really enjoy displaying their inventions during an open house held the evening of their judging.” 

The students’ dedication and interest paid off, with 52 projects moving on to the Southwest Invention Convention Regionals, slated for April 23 at Central State University in Wilberforce. At that level, the Hopewell Elementary students will compete with students from throughout the southwest Ohio area.

“I especially liked that the Invention Convention isn’t just a one-night thing,” explains Murray. “Because of the pre-work students have to complete, to completing a journal to note their failure and success, each student has the opportunity to uncover new interests and to be inspired to achieve their personal best.”

Hamza Hmeidan and Zain Hanieh (from left) pose with their E Watch invention, while Derek Cambizaca shows off his concept for a “get out of bed machine.”

Maya Muir, Mackenzie Ringo, and Mandy Chen (left to right) pause for a moment during the recent Invention Convention. Students created posters and other visuals, some even creating mock-up designs, to convey their original ideas.