Inventors are headed to the National Invention Convention

The Locker Hammock inventor, Katie Barry (left), and teammate, Olivia Quern, stand next to the display explaining the concept, design process and marketability of the product. Photo/Submitted.

Young inventors from the STEM programs at J.C. Booth Middle and Flat Rock Middle brought home awards from the 2017 K-12 InVenture Challenge at Georgia Tech, and two teams of students are heading to the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo after taking top prizes in the competition.

Georgia Tech’s InVenture Challenge is a celebration of student achievement in invention and entrepreneurship that is modeled after the university’s InVenture Prize competition for undergraduates. Schools throughout the state send their best projects for the state finals.

Two eighth grade teams from J.C. Booth Middle took first and third place and are headed to the national competition. The team of Katie Barry, Olivia Quern and Esther Ofielu clinched first place for an invention called “The Locker Hammock.” Invented by Katie Barry, The Locker Hammock is a redesign of the standard locker shelf. The shelf consists of suction cups and fabric. The fabric design gives the shelf the flexibility to fit neatly in most lockers while the suction cups allow the shelf to attach firmly to the interior walls. Olivia Quern and Esther Ofielu provided presentation assistance.

The second J.C. Booth Middle team of Gracie Weldon, Johanna Nelson and Raaga Bramhadevi took third place for an invention called “Let’s Deet This.” Invented by Gracie Weldon and Johanna Nelson, Let’s Deet This is a bug-repelling laundry detergent made from environmentally safe ingredients. The product also includes a portable washing machine. Let’s Deet This can be used on clothing or mosquito netting for an added layer of protection from insects. Raaga Bramhadevi provided presentation assistance.

Both teams will compete at the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo that will take place at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C. June 1-3.

In addition to the students winning prizes, the STEM science teacher at J.C. Booth Middle, Kathleen Lanman, received the top teacher award for middle school.

An eighth grade team from Flat Rock Middle received a specialty award from IronCad, a developer of 3D modeling software, for their invention called Xtendlet, a cord that extends the reach of electrical outlets up to 25 feet in length and can retract back neatly into the wall outlet. The team members are Ashton Mobley, Mohammed-Faiz Ali Khan and Thomas Bryan. Their teacher is Monica Reckley.

Inventions are judged by volunteer Georgia Tech judges using Georgia Tech’s High School InVenture Challenge rubric to select the top projects. Judges rate the projects on practicality, knowledge base, design-based thinking, creativity, marketability, social responsibility, enthusiasm and communication, and manufacturing.