Two students from Fort Myers were recently honored for their innovations at the Florida Invention Convention.
Samantha Mitchell, a 6th grade student at St Francis Xavier Catholic School, won a Next Level Award. Her invention, “Foamy Finger”, is a safety bumper used to protect fingers from being injured in sliding doors. The Award is selected by Inventor’s Launchpad, a sponsor of the Florida Invention Convention Sponsor; and includes free prototyping services.
Robbie Stewart, a 8th grade student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Middle School, took 3rd Place in the competition. His invention, Air Ride Boats Wraps, is a boat wrap that traps air in dimples to reduces fluid drag, it reduces fuel consumption by having less drag.
The competition took place at the University of South Florida Marshall Student Center earlier this month, and included student inventors from throughout Florida. The students had participated in other Invention, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and or STEM Education programs and were invited to participate with their invention. Winners of the state finals advance to the National Invention Convention held at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation next year.
“Florida is full of talented and bright young learners, and this celebration of invention gives students the opportunity to share what they have created,” said Tracy Zuluaga, coordinator of the Florida Invention Convention. “This competition gets students involved in authentic, project-based learning while demonstrating creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking — all important 21st Century Skills.”
The event, now in its second year, has grown to over 7,000 participating students statewide. The Florida Invention Convention is sponsored by USF College of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors (USF Chapter), Moffitt Cancer Center, the Intellectual Property Law Firm of Saliwanchik, and Lloyd and Eisenschenk. The event is organized by Bright Young Minds Coalition, a Florida non-profit that champions invention and entrepreneurship education in schools and youth organizations.