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Release: Immediate

Child inventors meet March 1 at sites around the state

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Elementary, junior high and middle school students from four Area Education Agencies will be showcasing their inventions Saturday, March 1 as part of a regional round of the 10th annual "Invent Iowa!"

Students in schools served by the Mississippi Bend (Bettendorf), Heartland (Johnston), Southern Prairie (Ottumwa), and Arrowhead (Fort Dodge) Area Education Agencies will present their creations at regional "Invention Conventions."

Designed to foster creativity in children in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, Invent Iowa! is a not-for-profit program administered by a volunteer board of directors and The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa College of Education.

Here is the March 1 schedule:

-- Students in the Mississippi Bend AEA will be at the Putnam Museum in Davenport; public viewing for the kindergarten to third grade competition is about 10:30 a.m.; public viewing for grades four through eight is about 2:30 p.m.

-- Students in the Heartland AEA will be at Southridge Mall in Des Moines; inventions will be on display from 12:15 p.m. to about 4:15 p.m.

-- Students in Southern Prairie AEA will be at Evans Middle School in Ottumwa; public viewing is at 9:20 a.m.

-- Students in the Arrowhead AEA will be at gymnasium of Iowa Central Community College; public viewing is from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Students participating in Invent Iowa! use a variety of academic skills -- including reading, library research, field research, science, technology, and others -- to identify a practical need or problem and create an invention to address it.

Each fall, more than 32,000 students participate in Invent Iowa! beginning with a series of local conventions.

Entries at each level are judged by independent panels. Outstanding entries are recommended to advance to regional and state competitions.

EDITORS NOTE: The upcoming regional Invention Conventions are part of a series of competitions leading up to the statewide Invention Convention in Des Moines on Saturday, April 12. Each regional is held by an Area Education Agency (AEA).

Here's a schedule of the regional competitions:

ELKADER (Keystone AEA): Monday, Feb. 24

BETTENDORF (Mississippi Bend AEA): Saturday, March 1

OTTUMWA (Southern Prairie AEA): Saturday, March 1

CEDAR RAPIDS (Grant Wood AEA): Wednesday, March 5

CLEAR LAKE (Northern Trails AEA): Saturday, March 15

FORT DODGE (Arrowhead AEA): Saturday, March 1

MARSHALLTOWN (AEA 6): Saturday, March 8

CEDAR FALLS (AEA 7): Monday, March 3

JOHNSTON (Heartland AEA): Saturday, March 1

COUNCIL BLUFFS (Loess Hills): Saturday, March 8

BURLINGTON (Great River AEA): Tuesday, March 18