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NWPE's Beth Brubaker Inspires Innovation
posted by: Colin | January 27, 2015, 02:25 PM   

beth brubaker“By teaching invention skills, we’re teaching real-world creative problem solving,” she said. “My confidence is high that our country is in great hands in the future with this inventive spirit.”

The students who enter the competition do so in a variety of categories.  These include:
  • Working Models: This category includes projects where students have produced a full-size or scaled working model or sample of the invention that really works. The invention must accomplish a stated goal or purpose.
  • Non-Working Models: This category is for inventiions that would be too large, expensive, or technical to build.  Entries in this category must be more than just a drawing; each entry must include a “blueprint” as well as a three-dimensional model or sample, which does not actually function.
  • Adaptations: This is an invention, which takes an idea already in existence and improves upon it.  A three-dimensional sample or model of the adaptation is required.  “New and Improved!” is the slogan for these inventions.
  • Jules Verne!! This category encompasses projects that would fit into any other category but are too futuristic or fanciful to be judged against more practical inventions.  This is the fantasy category and will be judged heavily on originality and imagination.
  • Gadgets and Games: ”Gadgets” are ingenious and novel devices or toys, for the purpose of entertainment, education, or amusement.  This category also includes original board, computer, and other digitally-produced games, designed and programmed by the student inventor, as well as sports or athletic games and activities.

garrett clipGarrett Hoyt, a Forrest M. Bird Charter School seventh-grader, entered the "Jules Verne" category.  His goal was to invent a way to rid the world of conditions like Down syndrome through a “DNA Reconstructer Robot.”  This technology would be able to enter fetuses and remove extra chromosomes, leaving the baby with the normal amount.

Sarah Evans, NWPE member and Garrett's science teacher at Forrest M. Bird Charter School, said, "It's very rewarding to help students research, develop, and redesign their ideas. This project starts with brainstorming and ends with an analysis of how the invention could be better. Setting kids up to think like an inventor teaches them key skills for success-creativity, perseverance and resilience."  Sarah reports that Forrest Bird had the highest percentage of wins to entries,17 awards and 23 entries.

The Invent Idaho State Finals will be March 6-7 in the University of Idaho in Moscow.  Winners from the North Idaho regional event will compete with students from regions across the state.  State Invent Idaho winners will have the opportunity to exhibit their inventions in the Idaho State Capitol Building for Invent Idaho Day in March.

Thank you Beth and the Invent Idaho team for your imagination and hard work to unleash students' creative juices for a better future and better world.

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