More than 120,000 K-12 inventors from across the country competed at local affiliate events for the chance to showcase their inventions at Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2020.
On July 2, 2020, more than 60 students from across the nation took home top honors for their outstanding inventions and problem-solving solutions during the fifth annual Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, presented by Raytheon Technologies.
The students were among nearly 500 award-winning K-12 inventors who were celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation correspondent Alie Ward. During the 2019-2020 school year, more than 120,000 K-12 inventors from across the country competed at local affiliate events for the chance to showcase their inventions at Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2020.
With concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, The Henry Ford quickly pivoted and turned the event into a virtual ceremony. This decision was to make sure the students, who worked year-round on their inventions, received the recognition they deserved.
“While many things have been disrupted due to the pandemic, innovation and invention continue and are needed now more than ever,” said Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO, The Henry Ford. “We need to move forward, to create, to problem-solve and, with programs like Invention Convention, we are seeing our young people, our young innovators and inventors, leading the way.”
This year’s inventors taking home top honors include:
- 10th-graders Taylor McNeal and Bridgette Castronovo, of Kennesaw, Georgia, for their invention Biodegradable Straws.
- First-grader Charles Smith, of Ottumwa, Iowa, for his invention H.E.R.B. (Home Emergency Responder Beacon).
- Sixth-graders Samvith Mahesh, Anik, Roy, Anushka Roy and Raima Saha, of Novi, Michigan, for their invention Piezo Power.
- Seventh-grader Noah Hong, of Chicago, Illinois, for his invention The Good Breather.
- Sixth-grader Danny Mefford, of Blanchester, Ohio, for his invention The Quick Click.
- 12th-grader Alex Johnson, of Panama City, Florida, for his invention The TactCell Braille Communication Device.
- Third-grader Georgia Anderson, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, for her invention Sudz for the Sea.
Invention Convention Worldwide is a global K-12 invention education curricular program mapped to national and state educational standards that teaches students problem-identification, problem-solving, entrepreneurship and creativity skills and builds confidence in invention, innovation and entrepreneurship for life. To participate, students are required to submit a video presentation of their invention, a prototype, an inventor’s logbook showing the journey of their invention process and a poster board highlighting key points of the invention process.
“Ingenuity and agility are being demonstrated by students around the world. Seeing this year’s convention ― and its participants ― shift their inventive spirit and excel in this virtual showcase is heartening,” said Randy Bumps, executive director, corporate social responsibility, Raytheon Technologies. “We hope that our support of programs like Invention Convention will continue to encourage student problem-solving, next-generation innovations and a passion for lifelong learning.”
Prizes and opportunities this year included pro bono patent awards from law firms WilmerHale, Cooley and Cantor Colburn, and invention experiences with partners like Koch Industries, where students can visit with marketers, product designers and engineers to help advance their inventions to the next stage. The winner of the event’s top accolade, the Raytheon Technologies Most Innovative Award, will receive a scholarship and be paired with a Raytheon Technologies mentor to advance his invention through further iterations, prototyping, and marketing strategies that will take his innovation to the next level.
A recording of the awards ceremony can be viewed here.
The mission of Invention Convention Worldwide is to bring invention education to every student everywhere. Organizations interested in bringing the year-long program to their region can get more information at inventionconvention.org.
About The Henry Ford
Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford, a globally recognized destination, fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts that represent the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness in America. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. Together with its online presence at thf.org, its national television series, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, and Invention Convention Worldwide, the growing affiliation of organizations fostering innovation, invention and entrepreneurship in K-12 students, The Henry Ford inspires individuals to unlock their potential and help shape a better future.
About Raytheon Technologies
Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With 195,000 employees and four industry-leading businesses ― Collins Aerospace Systems, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense ― the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.