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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 9, 2004

Young Inventors To Appear In UI's State Fair Booth Aug. 14

Sixteen K-12 students who took part in this year's Invent Iowa convention have been selected to showcase their inventions on Saturday, Aug. 14 in the University of Iowa's booth at the 2004 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

Among the exhibitors will be (NAME) of (HOMETOWN), who will display his/her invention from (TIME). Each inventor will demonstrate and talk with visitors about his or her invention for about 90 minutes, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The UI booth, whose theme is "Iowa: Your University," is located in the southwest corner of the Varied Industries Building on the fairgrounds. The fair runs Aug. 12-22, and the UI booth will feature a wide range of presenters, activities and drawings for free prizes. For details about booth activities, visit

More than 300 Iowa students in grades 3-12 participated in the Invent Iowa State Invention Convention on the UI campus May 1. Entries to the competition run the gamut, from devices for pets, home and farm to inventions to aid the elderly and the physically disabled.

Often, the names are as inventive as the devices themselves. This year saw such entries as a Pickle-Vator, a Baggage Bra and a Horse Headlight, which is exactly what it sounds like -- a headlamp for horses that allows riders to see where they're going after dark.

The convention is cosponsored by the UI and ISU colleges of engineering and ran by the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, which is part of the UI College of Education. The event site alternates between the UI and Iowa State University campuses each year.

EDITORS: Receipt of this release indicates that someone from your coverage area is presenting in the UI's State Fair booth. Students are listed below, alphabetically by hometown, followed by the name of their inventions and the times on Saturday, Aug. 14, when they will be presenting their inventions in the UI booth. Also note that some of the inventions have co-inventors.


Brady Tennis, Lincoln Center, Snowball Thrower, 9 to 10:30 a.m.


Alex Dockery, Pleasant View Elementary, You Are Grounded (YAG) (with co-inventor Douglas Wiegel), 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Douglas Wiegel, Pleasant View Elementary, You Are Grounded (YAG) (with co-inventor Alex Dockery), 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Kelli Ann Vollmer, Davis County Elementary, Horse Headlights, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.


John Mercer IV, Oak Street Middle School, R/C Retriever (with co-inventor Aaron Oetken), 4 to 5:30 p.m.


Aaron Oetken, Oak Street Middle School, R/C Retriever (with co-inventor John Mercer IV), 4 to 5:30 p.m.


Bret Carlson, Columbus Community School, No Tip Bunk, 12:30 to 2 p.m.


Taylor Atchinson, Woodlawn Elementary, Light Sign, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Joseph Koehn, Valley Community School District, Doggy Holder, 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.


Tara Fink, Waterville Elementary, Aqua Master, 9 to 10:30 a.m.


Laura Gillenwater, Indianola Middle School, Security Shot, 4 to 5:30 p.m.


Samantha Morgan, East Elementary, Disappearo Pot, 12:30 to 2 p.m.


Quinn Rayner, Lone Tree Commmunity School, Easy Cast 9000, 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.


Brittany Fish, Seton Catholic School, Sweep 'N' Bike, 12:30 to 2 p.m.


Patrick Bries, St. Paul School, The Energizer (with co-inventor Sean Cahill), 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.


Sean Cahill, St. Paul School, The Energizer (with co-inventor Patrick Bries), 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.

Information about the Invent Iowa program may be found online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,