HAMDEN – Young inventors Brendan Barnett and Isabelle Giaqunto, both students at St. Rita School, have won special honors at the 2015 Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC), held on May 2 at Gampel Pavilion at the University of Connecticut.
They are both fifth graders.
Brendan, presented with a Recognized Inventor Award, was selected for his invention of a “Fuzz-a-Tron.” Isabelle was given the Boehringer Ingelheim Life Science Award as well as a Recognized Inventor Award for her invention of the “Adolescent Alarm.”
Winning at the prestigious Connecticut Invention Convention is the culmination of a year-long program designed to develop, encourage and enhance students' critical thinking skills through invention.
The CIC process follows all the steps involved in inventing a product and bringing it to market. The students define a solution to an everyday problem, design and build a prototype, research the market for similar products to prove originality, track their progress in written inventor’s logs and document everything in a detailed display board for viewing by judges.
Out of 10,000 kindergarten-through-grade-eight students from across the state who competed to attend the convention, 650 finalists were selected for the competition in Storrs. From these finalists, fewer than 200 winners were selected for special honors.
Judges for the final competition come from industry, education and government.
“Invention is part of a great Connecticut heritage,” said Honora Kenney, CIC president and a retired educator and school administrator. “We are known as the State of Genius because of our long history of innovation and ingenuity.
"Today and into the future, students need the chance to show off their unique capacities, and we believe that the invention convention gives them the unique experience of making change happen with their own two hands.”
The CIC begins in the fall, when teachers across the state are trained in the standards-based CIC curriculum and methods. Next, students in more than 100 participating schools across the state work to discover a vexing problem that they or their family or friends encounter, and local conventions are held to pick the best of the local inventions solving those problems.