AMES–Fifth grade inventors in the Ames Community School District, like Payton Stewart, Grace Schmitt and Kayley Birkland, are honing life skills that will last well beyond the Invention Convention on January 25.
Payton said the inspiration for her invention, for example, came from wanting to solve the problem of her family’s increasing water bill.
“We were using too much water brushing teeth and would leave water going,” she said. “It’s been fun taking our own journey through all this cool inventing process to solve problems.”
Grace said she learned not to give up even when it was hard to get her project-mates together and to manage her time to complete her invention.
“At school, we are learning what it means to persist when things are hard,” she said. “Persistence was helpful. We didn’t get together for a long time and I thought maybe we’d have to give up. My plate was too full, but then we got together and we made a plan and got straight to work and we accomplished a lot.”
Kayley said she learned the value of taking the risk to try ideas that might fail.
“We weren’t sure if we should use plastic, cardboard or metal (for our materials). We knew whichever we chose, there was risk involved. If we chose metal, we didn’t know if we had time to send it to my grandpa to weld it,” she said. “So I talked to my dad, and he helped us make a plan, so then I had confidence that it would turn out great.”
Extended Learning Program teacher Ariane Schmidt said the event is open to all district fifth graders.
“Inventors will be judged on inventiveness, the diagram, the model or prototype, the log and the oral presentation,” Schmidt said.
The young inventors will put their projects on display beginning at 4:15 p.m., Monday, Jan. 25, at Edwards Elementary School, 820 Miller Ave., for parents and friends to view and experts to judge.
At around 4:50 p.m., inventors and visitors will move to the Gymnasium for a science presentation while the judges continue to deliberate in the display area. Judges will present awards around 5:45 p.m. in the Gymnasium.