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21 years of creativity mark MTSU’s Invention Conve...

21 years of creativity mark MTSU’s Invention Convention

The 2013 Invention Convention at MTSU on Feb. 28 marked the event’s 21st year and featured more than 220 one-of-a-kind inventions from 431 young geniuses from across the Midstate.

The young inventors are public- and private-school students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Coffee, DeKalb, Franklin, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner and Wilson counties.

Each year, the youngsters create an invention fitting one of two categories: “Games” and “Make Our Lives Easier.” Judges select winners in each category, and participants also create presentations as well as working models of their inventions to display to visitors.

A featured invention also is selected for display each year, and the 2013 choice brought cheers from the entire audience: chocolate!

Murfreesboro businessman and author Greg Tucker, who also is the new Rutherford County historian, was this year’s Invention Convention guest speaker. He showed the young participants a history slideshow of invention, explaining that creativity and necessity often lead to great inventions.

MTSU’s Invention Convention, the brainchild of elementary education professor Dr. Tracey Huddleston in honor of her mother, a longtime educator and innovator, is sponsored by State Farm insurance.

Students, teachers, parents and judges prepare for the 21st annual Invention Convention inside MTSU’s Murphy Center Feb. 28. The event, coordinated by the Department of Elementary and Special Education, drew more than 431 young inventors from across Middle Tennessee with 220-plus creations to use as “Games” or to “Make Our Lives Easier.” (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Aubrey McCamey, left, discusses his first-place-winning game, “World War III,” with fellow McFadden School of Excellence fourth-graders Sam Udom and Graham Hall at the 2013 Invention Convention at MTSU Feb. 28.

Innovative young fourth-grade chefs Brady Duncan, left, Kyle Scott and Hank Gravis prepare their Best Presentation-winning Invention Convention creation, “Easy Greasy,” at the 21st annual event inside MTSU’s Murphy Center Feb. 28. The trio are students at Coles Ferry Elementary in Lebanon, Tenn.

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Fifth-graders Georgia Touchton, left, Grace Dummermuth and Fatima Razzaq from Murfreesboro’s McFadden School of Excellence show their Group Champion-winning innovation, “Blooming Beauty,” to judge Tony Tate at the 2013 Invention Convention at MTSU Feb. 28.

Fourth-grade “Games” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Juna Bess, Westside Elementary (Robertson County), for “Most Valuable Player.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Jamie Boyd, Castle Heights Elementary (Wilson County), “All Stars”; Zachary Marshall, Will Spurill and Peter Pearson, Byars Dowdy Elementary (Wilson County), “Marshmallow Madness.”
  • Best Presentation — Morgan Harlen, Kayla Sisco and Iris Means, Byars Dowdy Elementary, “Monopoly Sliders”; Faith Johnson, Sam Houston Elementary (Wilson County), “Candy Ladders.”
  • Group Champion — Ryan Becht, Patrick Flannery and Pierce Parker, Coles Ferry Elementary (Wilson County), “Mini Football.”
  • Individual Champion — Eli Oliver, McFadden School of Excellence (Rutherford County), “Alpha vs. Bravo.”

Aubrey McCamey of McFadden brought home a first-place trophy for his “World War III” game. Zack Logsdon of Heritage Elementary (Robertson County) won second place for “Tennessee Travels,” and Emily Richter of Cheatham Park Elementary (Robertson County) won a third-place trophy for “Homework Hurry.”

Fourth-grade “Making Life Easier” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Erynn Barratt and Delicia Balacher, Union Elementary STEM and Demonstration School (Sumner County), for “Handy Dandy Gutter Filler.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Willis McAdams, Alex Jones, Mikie Pletan and Holden Springfield, McFadden School of Excellence, “The ‘Book-It'”; Jada Smith, Castle Heights, “Rags to Bags.”
  • Best Presentation — Hank Gravis, Brady Duncan and Kyle Scott, Coles Ferry, “Easy Greasy”; Reice Naugle, Faith Kowal, and Paige Huckabee, Coles Ferry, “Picture Pal.”
  • Group Champion — Emma Jennings and Luke Jenkins, Northside Elementary (DeKalb County), “The Box Bag.”
  • Individual Champion — Chelsea Dolan, Scales Elementary (Murfreesboro City Schools), “Cute as a Button.”

Abigail Gomicki and McAley Lannom of Union STEM brought home a first-place trophy for their “Posh Pouch” invention. Hayden Swearingen and Daniel Iwanowski of East Robertson Elementary won second place for “Toilet Lift 2500,” and Emily Jernigan of Cowan Elementary (Franklin County) won a third-place trophy for “Easy Pad.”

Fifth-grade “Games” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Griffin Salsman and Jordan Alicea, Westside Elementary, for “Schoolhouse Escape.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Caitlin Foster and Sara Reese, Sam Houston Elementary, “Pears to Pairs”; Jackson Burdine and Slone Carr, Castle Heights, “Catapult Mania.”
  • Best Presentation — Emily Jones, Micayla Sutton, Matthew Shreeve and Cameron Carr, Byars Dowdy Elementary, “U.S. Chess Center”; Piper Bailey, Coles Ferry Elementary, “Beauty.”
  • Group Champion — Eric Fung, Avery Lowery, Justice Caldwell and Joshua Brown, Coles Ferry Elementary, “Clash, Smash or Dash.”
  • Individual Champion — Autumn Thomas, Discovery School at Reeves-Rogers (Murfreesboro City), “Leapfrog Landings.”

Josh Varellie and Josh Wolbert of Heritage Elementary brought home a first-place trophy for their “ADD-iction” game. Ellie Wright, Elizabeth Nolan, Hannah Potts and Autumn Carpenter of White House Elementary won second place for “Act-It Drama Game,” and Micah Cummings, North Hopper and Collin Aucoin of Byars Dowdy Elementary won a third-place trophy for “Paradox.”

Fifth-grade “Making Life Easier” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Eddie Smith and Logan Vestola, Castle Heights Elementary, for “Balloon Tier.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Nolan Abraham, Coopertown Middle (Robertson County), “Sticky Heat”; Aurora Haley, Anna Kate Head and Molly Ore, Jo Byrns Elementary (Robertson County), “Stylish Spot Stoppers.”
  • Best Presentation — Anna Stone, Madeline Walker and Brylie Evans, Castle Heights, “Nosies”; Molly Georges and Kaicie Kidd, St. Paul School, “Crazy Cat Hot House.”
  • Group Champion — Georgia Touchton, Grace Dummermuth and Fatima Razzaq, McFadden School of Excellence, “Blooming Beauty.”
  • Individual Champion — Sara Beth Turner, New Union Elementary, “Cloves.”

Destiny Richie, Chantz Boling, Raden Martin, Julia Curtis and Jake Ramsey of Northside Elementary brought home a first-place trophy for their “Desk Buddy” invention. Amanda Mukai and Colleen Thurmand of New Union Elementary won second place for “Squeeze and Style,” and Preston White and Chandler Pruitt of Castle Heights won a third-place trophy for “Backpack Buddy.”

Sixth-grade “Games” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Mackezee Simms, T.W. Hunter Middle School (Sumner County), for “The Battle of the Labryrinth.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Josia Crocker, Amber Mitchell and Ann Crocker, Middle Tennessee Christian School (Murfreesboro), “Lily Pad Leap”; Keaton Cook, Korbin Tones and Sean Jones, White House Middle, “Choose It or Lose It.”
  • Best Presentation — Trent Mitchell and Nolen Rolley, Winfree Bryant Middle School (Lebanon Special Schools), “Wipe Out”; Grace Ignatosk, Knox Doss Middle School at Drakes Creek (Sumner), “Properties: The Game.”
  • Group Champion — Masoh Taheny, Ben Brashear, Bently Spicer and Alexander Hagerman, Winfree Bryant, “Empire Bound.”
  • Individual Champion — Arika Kadakia, T.W. Hunter Middle School, “Me and You.”

Emily Hunter of T.W. Hunter Middle School brought home a first-place trophy for her “Envelope Game.” Nakya Johnson of T.W. Hunter Middle won second place for “Word Zandia,” and Alison Grant, Faith Burton and Isaac Bland of Winfree Bryant won a third-place trophy for “Western Journey.”

Sixth-grade “Making Life Easier” winners included:

  • State Farm Excellence Award — Raleigh Graham, T.W. Hunter Middle School, for “The Bag Snatcher.”
  • Judges’ Favorites — Eliza Radyko, Knox Doss, “Recycled Convertible Shoulder Belt Bag”; Thomas Bryan and Braeden Reece, Winfree Bryant, “Full-Body Umbrella.”
  • Best Presentation — Emily Johnson, Makenzie Mathies, Madison McManon and Hayley Moran, White House Middle, “Hotfoot”; Ashley Cross, Skyler Fuller and Sara Ramey, Coopertown Middle, “The Frizing Bag.”
  • Group Champion — Anna Bennett, Emily Boyd, and Jenna Manaus, Walter J. Baird Middle School (Wilson County), “The Cozy Tozy.”
  • Individual Champion — Chasity Blanchard, Knox Doss, “iRelax.”

Jenna Moss of T.W. Hunter Middle brought home a first-place trophy for her “Wet Head Pillow Case” invention. Mary Caroline Minter, Anna Dozier and MacKenzie Carlton of Winfree Bryant won second place for “Neo Solium Poth Ped,” and Elijah Whitacker of Knox Doss won a third-place trophy for “Footware Fans.”


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