The Invention Convention held at was months in the making as 4th- and 5th-grade students have been developing and perfecting their inventions to compete for a chance to move on to the state level.
TVES’s cafeteria was full as 82 inventors showed off their inventions, explaining their ideas and demonstrating their concepts to judges and groups of students.
Though the Invention Convention was a mainstay for years, there was a hiatus until last year when Shelly Thompson, a 4th-grade teacher and the Talented and Gifted educator, helped bring the event back. Last year’s convention was open only to RTI students, but this year, the competition was opened to any 4th- or 5th-grader who wanted to participate.
There were a wide variety of inventions, though many ideas seemed to be inspired by the massive amount of snow dumped on Connecticut this winter. There was Brianna Annonziato’s ‘Mailbox Shield’, Tanner Treichel’s ‘Shovel Glove’, Nicholas Gaudio’s ‘Tek Nick Survival Wear’, Mariah Hernandez’s ‘Roof Snow Melter’, Kaitlyn Muller’s ‘Ice Buster’, Cheyenne Gibilaro’s ‘Super Sled’, Brianna Raccio’s ‘Icicle Breaker 2011’, Alexander Stasiuk’s ‘Snow Day’, Jacob Neubig’s ‘Sandel’, Kaitlin Souza’s ‘Ice Helmet’, Jordan Caplan’s ‘Head and Hands Warmer’, Rachel Helwig’s ‘Electric Roof Snow Melter’ and Brianna Gonsalves’s ‘Helpful Snowgear’.
The 12 judges chose 16 semifinalists including Christopher Candelora (Art-on-the-Go), Kaitlyn Muller (Ice Buster), Emilie Wilkinson (Flip It Lap Desk), Sarah Criscuolo (Pop Sopper), Stephanie Mahon (Hand Towel No Slip), Nicholas Gaudio (Tek Nick Surival Wear), John Crescenti (No Finger Cutter), Brennan Carroll (Catchinator), Colby Anastasio (Easy Fill Xmas Tree Stand), Jacob Neubig (Sandel), Sydney Senerchia (Slot Case), Samantha Gallo (Teddy Time), Madeline Wilson (Headphones Hat), Kayleigh Melillo (Vacation Cat), Eve Brannin-Stapleton (No Mats for Cats) and Ariana Esposito (The Auto Planter).
Of the 16 semifinalists, Candelora, Criscuolo, Anastasio and Neubig were chosen as finalists. They will next compete in the Connecticut Invention Convention, which will be held at Gampel Pavillion in May.