Kids Choice winner Jana Evans (left) with her "Book Floater" invention and first-place winner Eva Strazek with her winning "No Fight No Bite Dog Food Bag" and
Lakewood City Schools is always well-represented on the awards stand of the annual Regional Invention Convention and this year was no different. Winning awards in this year’s contest, held at Great Lakes Science Center on May 2, were Emerson Elementary fifth-grader Eva Strazek with 1st place in her grade and Lincoln Elementary third-grader Jana Evans with the Kids Choice Award.
Eva’s first-place invention is the “No Fight, No Bite Dog Food Bag,” which is designed to stop dogs from breaking into their dog food bags while no one is home. The bag is made of blue nylon with a red metal zipper. The first-place prize comes with a $500 scholarship.
In doing the research for her invention, Eva said she “left it (the bag) at home with my bad dogs while I went out to dinner and nothing happened. In the past we’ve had to lock our dog food bag in the bathroom because our dogs can get into it.” Looks like the Strazek family now has a fail-safe way to prevent the dog food mess.
The Kids Choice Award is chosen by the previous year’s Grand Prize winner and Kids Choice winner. Jana’s invention, “The Book Floater,” was chosen as this year’s winner.
Said Jana’s teacher, Sonja Kreps: “It's no surprise that when we started brainstorming ideas, that Jana eventually settled on creating an invention that was centered on reading. After coming up with many great ideas, but then discovering that they were already invented, Jana redirected her thoughts to how to improve one of her favorite hobbies, reading.”
Jana’s Book Floater solves the problem of trying to read while in the tub or pool without getting the reading material wet. “It works by placing the book inside of see-through, and voila, the invention, through her use of science knowledge, will float on the surface of the water,” said Kreps.
Thirty-six students created and presented inventions for the first-round of local judging. From those, seven projects were chosen to advance to regional judging.
Besides Jana and Eva, other regional contest entrants were Emerson fifth-graders Emma Murray, Gretchen Breudigam and fourth-grader Casey Funk; Lincoln third-grader Rowan Brown and fourth-grader Jackson Provost; and Garfield Middle School seventh-grader Claire Martin.
A special thanks to the local level judges who put in lots of extra time to help guide the students: Emerson’s Chris Karabinus and Anne Nolan, Lincoln’s Sonja Kreps and Lisa Andrasak and Garfield’s Jessie Holland and retired teacher Maureen Marshall, who has been the district’s coordinator for the convention since it came to Cleveland in 2007.
The convention, which began 21 years ago in Columbus, inspires students in grades K-8 to create and problem solve. The students always come up with useful, if not sometimes crazy, and interesting solutions.