The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Lifestyles

January 25, 2014

Inventing for the future

CLINTON — Unfavorable weather put a small damper on the annual Camanche Elementary School Invention Convention, but with kids as determined as Sheryl Kennedy's third and fourth graders, the show had to go on.

The event only experienced postponement for one day because of below-zero temperatures that shut down all area schools Thursday, but with school back in session Friday, the invention convention was back on schedule.

Although the delay did cause a slight inconvenience for the judging portion of the convention, Kennedy was still able to round up a group of judges to participate on the short turnaround.

"We had about four or five that couldn't make it on such short notice, but I was able to contact a few that were able to rearrange their schedules," Kennedy said.

Each judge, handpicked by Kennedy, offered the young inventors a different perspective on their products and offered possible markets they could showcase their products.

Long-time judge Maggie Stafford took a liking to the Dog Feeder 1000, a self-feeding canine carrier, because of her dog-friendly business, Buddy Gourmet in Clinton.

"You see some of this stuff and go, 'Why didn't I think of that,' or why isn't that on the shelves yet," Stafford said. "This (event) really gives kids who are out-of-the-box thinkers a chance to showcase their creativity."

Along with the practical, convenient products, there were a few inventions that hit a little closer to the heart, one of which, the Port Shirt, gained a lot of attention from the judges.

Chealsa Andersen's alternative to hospital gowns for patients undergoing cancer treatment, was one of the top inventions of the day on Friday.

Camanche School Board member and featured judge Dan Srp favored the Port Shirt and expressed his appreciation for the unfiltered minds of a fourth grader.

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