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Release: May 5, 1999

Top student inventors named at Invent, Iowa! State Invention Convention

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Some 57 Iowa students were named top inventors at the annual Invent, Iowa! State Invention Convention April 24 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. The event was sponsored by the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa and by the Colleges of Engineering at the UI and Iowa State University.

The Invention Convention highlighted the efforts of 35,000 elementary and junior-high school students across Iowa who learned about inventions and creativity though the Invent, Iowa! program during the 1998-99 school year. To reach the state event, about 300 inventions from fourth- through eighth-graders were selected at local and regional events sponsored by area education agencies.

The students' inventions reflected their interests in solving problems, making life easier or just having more fun. Evaluators judged the creativity and usefulness of the invention, its backdrop, and a written log of the invention process. As part of the learning experience, students presented their inventions not only to the evaluators, but also to groups of fellow students.

Invent, Iowa! has helped teachers present the inventive process as a part of the regular kindergarten through eighth-grade curriculum for over 10 years, according to Laurie Croft, Invent, Iowa! coordinator.

For more information about the Invent, Iowa! program, contact Croft at the UI Belin-Blank Center, (800) 228-1625. Additional information about Invent, Iowa! is at

The following students received certificates and savings bonds at the State Invention Convention: (listed by city, name, grade, school and invention)

ALBIA: Brittany Pillard and Toni Moore, sixth grade, Lincoln Middle School, Puppy Pitch.

Trevor Crall, eighth grade, Lincoln Middle School, Leg Saver.

AUDUBON: Kallie Boehm, sixth grade, Audubon Middle School, The Perfect Picture Placer.

BETTENDORF: Thomas Michael Blaser, fifth grade, Armstrong School, Car Dock.

BOONEVILLE: Brian Alan Jeffers, fifth grade, Van Meter Elementary, Batter Up.

CEDAR RAPIDS: Meghan Sievertsen, sixth grade, Harding Middle School, Gutter O'Matic;
Callie O'Connor and Mackenzie O'Connor, fourth grade, Jackson Elementary, Info-Buddy;
Benjamin Sines and Adam Hoffman, fourth grade, Arthur Elementary, Always Moist Overhead Erasers;
Abigail Klocke, sixth grade, Franklin Middle School, Wheelchair Workouts -Soccer Drills at Rest.

CLARINDA: Jacob Bryant, fourth grade, South Page Community School, Team Gear Organizer

CLARKSVILLE: Heather Schellhorn, sixth grade, Clarksville Community School, Hot 'n Cold Ankle Wrap Up.

CLINTON: Mahmood Rasheed, fifth grade, Elijah Buell Elementary, Spoon Stopper.

COLO: Tia Upchurch-Freelove, fifth grade, Colo Elementary, Stick Stash.

COUNCIL BLUFFS: Amy Joanne Kalstrup, sixth grade, Treynor Elementary, Handy Reel and Rule Rod.

COUNCIL BLUFFS: Scott Kaiser, fourth grade, Gunn Elementary School, Water Yardstick.

CRAWFORDSVILLE: Travis Temple, fifth grade, WACO Elementary, Haulers Handi Helper.

DES MOINES: Chris Sandblom and Matthew Nail, fifth grade, Hanawalt Elementary, Fandandy.

DUBUQUE: Jordan Mulert, eighth grade, Washington Junior High, Piece O' Pie.

ELDRIDGE: Meaghan Leggins, seventh grade, North Scott Junior High, Water Dispenser Improvements.

ELY: Jenna Hindman, fifth grade, College Community School, Potty Pedal.

EPWORTH: Troy Bergfeld, eighth grade, Drexler Middle School, Magic Mothers (I and II).

FAIRFIELD: John David Roloff, fifth grade, Washington Elementary, Knitter's Helper.

FARLEY: Jill Simon, eighth grade, Drexler Middle School, Magic Mothers (I and II).

FORT ATKINSON: Katie Luzum and BreAnne Einck, fifth grade, CFS Catholic Elementary, "Mailman Was Here" Mailbox.

GUTTENBERG: Alex Hoffmann, fifth grade, Guttenberg Elementary, Soap Saver Water Deflector.

HARDY: Doug Schipull, fourth grade, Taft Elementary, The Rabbit's Bathroom Routine.

HOLLAND: Cody Cummings, fourth grade, Dike-New Hartford Community Schools, Hobby Hands.

HUMBOLDT: Todd Tinken, fourth grade, Taft Elementary, The Rabbits' Bathroom Routine.

IOWA CITY: Elizabeth Nerad, fifth grade, Shimek Elementary, Clever Contact Carrier.

IRWIN: Kole Schwarte, fifth grade, Irwin-Kirkman-Manilla Community School, Bunk Light.

KALONA: Nate Yoder and Ryan Allen fifth grade, Mid-Prairie School District, Ergo-Egger.

LOWDEN: Chris Kroemer, sixth grade, North Cedar Middle School, Kidsafe Gravity Wagon II.

MANNING: Erin Dammann, sixth grade, Manning Community Schools, "Did I or Didn't I?" Medicine Label.

MASON CITY: Paul Norris, fourth grade, Jefferson Elementary, Table Mover.

MECHANICSVILLE: Alan Weets, fourth grade, North Cedar Elementary, Biodegradable Clay Pigeon.

MORNING SUN: Waylon Walker and Kyle Carpenter, fourth grade, Morning Sun Elementary, Pro-Desk.

MUSCATINE: Shane McCleary, fourth grade, Louisa-Muscatine Elementary, E-Z Twist.

NEWTON: Tara Peska, seventh grade, Berg Middle School, the Bale Away.

PELLA: Clayton Jacobs, fifth grade, Jefferson Elementary, Adaptive Money for the Visually Impaired;
Meagan Dahlin, fifth grade, Jefferson Elementary, Tub Alert.

PRESTON: Cody Assenmacher, sixth grade, Preston Elementary, Winter Wonder Globe;
Landon Driscoll and Tyler Helmle, sixth grade, Preston Elementary.

RED OAK: Justin Ranney, fourth grade, Washington School, Washing Wizard.

ROCKFORD: Spenser Gruis, sixth grade, Rudd/ Rockford/Marble Rock Schools, the Test Master.

ROCKWELL: Dale Sturges, seventh grade, Rockwell-Swaledale, Extend Air Auger.

SIGOURNEY: Neil Wehr, sixth grade, Sigourney Elementary, Wehr Fountain Mate.

WASHINGTON: Austin Schantz, fifth grade, WACO Elementary in Crawfordsville, Handy Dandy Paintbrush Holder.

WATERLOO: Samantha Sturch and Melissa Sinnott, fourth grade, St. Edward's School, Alpha Cat Bingo For The Visually Impaired.