Mt. Pleasant Area students take part in 'Invention Convention'
By Kelly Vernon
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Students from 13 school districts throughout Westmoreland, Fayette and Washington counties recently showed off their skills and creativity at the “Invention Convention” held at Yough Intermediate Middle School.
The annual event is held at the school in collaboration with the Westmoreland County Gifted Coalition.
Event coordinator Mandy Pazer said when Yough started hosting the competition about 150 students participated.
This year, 310 young inventors attended the event, she said, which ranks as being the largest attendance.
Both individuals and teams of students from first through eighth grades participated in the 2013 installment.
Participants were required to showcase their invention, or a facsimile of their ideas.
Entries included a marketing strategy with projected cost, where it would be sold and a targeted demographic.
Each individual or team taking part submitted a written synopsis on how the invention was made, a problem that it addresses and how it solves the problem in a new way.
For the competition, each attending school supplied at least one judge. Both parents and teachers served in that capacity.
Judges listened to presentations and evaluated the projects using a score sheet. Judges were assigned a grade that didn't represent a conflict of interest for them.
Scores were tallied and awards were presented to students in each grade level.
Pazer recognized the seventh- and eighth-grade gifted students for their assistance preparing for the competition.
She said they did an excellent job of helping to make sure the competition ran well overall.
“I truly have a great group of students with superior leadership skills who can take charge of a competition or situation without being instructed to do so,” Pazer said.
Mt. Pleasant Area teacher Rachel Long said her students' October field trip to Davison's Inventionland, located along Route 28 at RIDC Park in the O'Hara section of Allegheny County, sparked their enthusiasm and inspired them to create entries for the recent convention.
She said 38 Mt. Pleasant Area students took part.
“It was fun to show off my invention of the ‘Bow'tique Holder, and it was interesting to see what other students invented, as well,” said Krista Polanofsky, a fourth-grade student at Norvelt Elementary School, who received an honorable mention distinction for her entry.
Additional Mt. Pleasant Area winners at the competition included first-grader Colin Hayes (fourth place); second-graders Cameron Wojnar (second place); Brianna Baluh (third place), and Madeline Higgins (fifth place); third-grader Brendan Korpiel (honorable mention); and fourth-grader Bryce Jaworski (second place).
Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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