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Young Inventors Design Technology for Better Tomorrow


January 25, 2017 – Students in Lake Hazel Elementary’s gifted and talented (GT) program have spent the past few weeks dreaming up, designing, testing and perfecting unique inventions for presentation at Invent Idaho’s regional competition Saturday, January 28 at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP). Their projects range from specialized stink-free masks for changing litter boxes, to putting unique chemicals together forming a new type of cold fusion.


Susan Hufford, teacher in the GT center at Lake Hazel Elementary shared, “Students feel their inventions are important because each invention has the potential to solve or heighten awareness of a real world problem. They believe their inventions may save time, make the world a safer place, save the planet, or simply make life more pleasant.”


Before students can delve into designing an invention, they first learn critical thinking strategies, time management, an eight-step inventing process and do extensive research into how their invention may help others.


“Students investigate the world around them and find problems to solve; the solution to the problem is the invention,” Hufford explained simply.


Fourth-grader Lauren H. invented a game which helps children learn healthy eating habits. An arrow spins around a circle with different types of food listed in its wedges – protein, grains, vegetables, etc. Once you have spun, then you roll a dice and this tells you how many bites of the food you need to take before continuing play.


“I thought this project was really fun – I’ve never invented anything before,” Lauren H. shared. “My little brother doesn’t like to eat his dinner, and this game helps him remember to eat everything.”


Considering the many games winter weather allows for, fourth-grader Josh H. explained how his inflatable tube and plastic sheet work together to create a shield from the snow when snow tubing.


“My brother looked like Santa Clause when we were tubing, his face was covered in white snow. My tube’s blocker keeps you from getting covered in snow,” Josh H. explained of his design.


Peers judged one another’s inventions using the same rubric judges will use at the regional competition. Hufford encouraged constructive criticism of the projects and presentations so classmates have an opportunity to edit material using the feedback.