The students at the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering, plus a few others from our school district, all competed in a local Invention Convention yesterday. Invention Convention is a contest that is one of the best ways to interest students of all learning styles and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It is an individual effort – each student uses a basic, age-appropriate engineering process to design and build an invention that solves a problem that the student has identified. The inventions can be any size or scale, and the student must either build a physical prototype or a physical model of the invention. During the contest, the student presents his/her invention to a small panel of judges by showing the invention and using a trifold display board to help explain it. At our local Invention Convention, the judges were Eric Chandler, Ewelina Maselek, and Tiedah Evans, all engineers from a local aerospace firm, GKN Aerospace, led by the Director of Sales, Bruce Fiedorowicz. We had 28 students competing and about 50 spectators, made up of family, friends, and school staff. In the end, we had four finalists who qualified to go on to the Connecticut state-level Invention Convention on April 30th at UCONN’s Gampel Pavilion.
Here are the finalists – Alexis Santo, Jasmine Barber, and Jaiden Woods (finalist Alek Jorge was not able to be present):
Our judges from GKN Aerospace (left to right), Eric Chandler, Tiedah Evans, Ewelina Maselek, and Bruce Fiedorowicz:
The competition as the judges circulated among the inventors: