Students display creativity at Invention Convention

The Buddy Bed, Safe Ice and Totally Dry are just a few of the several ideas that sparked the minds of the fifth grade students in the Trumbull elementary school system who participated in this year’s Invention Convention.

The students displayed their creations at the invention conventions held in the last two weeks at each of Trumbull’s six elementary schools. The events are in association with the Connecticut Invention Convention, a nonprofit educational program, which has been held for more than 25 years.

During the process of completing their inventions, the students had to follow a list of guidelines that included a financial limit of $25 for materials, the submission of an invention log and a list of steps that were used for their invention.

Some inventions, like the Popcorn Movie Mate, took a few days to create, according to the inventor, Zachary Volante. Zachary said his inspiration was going to the movies with his sister.

“I want to be a gentleman so I hold the popcorn for the whole entire movie,” Zachary said. “But it’s annoying because sometimes I just want to put it on the ground but the floor is dirty and people knock it over. So I thought, Why don’t I invent something that can be put in between us so we can both eat?

Other inventions, like the Fresh Breath Bone, invented by Ina Rahalkar, took a couple of weeks to create. Ina said she wanted to make something that would attract the interest of her dog while accomplishing the goal of his having fresh breath.

“My dad has to brush my dog’s teeth because his breath really smells,” Ina said. “I realized that my dog hated the toothpaste and he was backing away slowly, so I wanted to find something that he would like.”

Ina tested her product on two other dogs and made a video as proof of her success.

Each student was judged on originality, effectiveness, practicality, the need for the invention, and documentation of the invention process.

“My overall impression is that it takes an enormous amount of commitment on these kids who are very young,” said Doug Finocchi, a convention judge. “I think that’s very commendable of them.”

Some of the students chosen to compete in the May 3 competition at UConn in Storrs are listed below.

Booth Hill School: Kelly DeCarlo – Handy Dandy Fan Blade Cover, Andrew Plummer – Pull a-waste Bag, Ava Yakowicz – Ear Cozees, Ari Lichtenthal – Safety Vesty, Paulina Kaczmarczyk – Back Saver, Catherine Proudfoot – The BreezeBrella, Lillian Boland – The Perfect Pitch In 3000, Jake Reda – “Magnet”ficent Gloves 2000!, Amanda Sullivan – Baby! Choke No More, Carly Costello – K-All, Leilani Brown – Hood-Zzz.

Daniels Farm: Alexandra Castro (Totally Dry), Maya Kovach (Spill Me Not), Molly Bomann (Easy Eye Dropper), Alex Coley (Airplane E-Z Cup), Michael Welch (Portable S’more Maker), Camilla Howard (Convenient Convertibles), Nicholas Maruschak (H2Oasis), and Abigail Leigland (Bed Light),

Jane Ryan: Caroline Ryan (Pop Out Pizza Plates), Miranda Vona (The Laundrawerganizer), Ana Carlos (Forget Me Not Dance Wear), Keira Grant (Hot Hand), Kalman Jonas (Candling Can), Zachary Volante (Popcorn Movie Mate,) Jensie-Rose Nicholas (Truck Training Wheels), and Sarah Rocco (Icolator).

Frenchtown: Jason Knapp (Move Master), Emily Umana (Food Pick), Elizabeth LaFrance (Posture Pillow), Julia Larkin (No Brainer Retainer Reminder), Annie Kacin (Binky Drop), Allie Koch (Q-Cone), Kate Barton (The Ear Sling), Emily Gossman (Snapping Sport Shorts), Cristine Paulo (Massager Backpack), Fernando Perez (Umbrella Sprinkler), Jack Cobella (Sofa Shield), and Caitlin Vozzella (Chalkanator 5000).

Middlebrook: Abby Agostin (Mobile Reader), Laura Moreno (Fast Feeder), Jack McLean (Safety Band), Christina Odendahl (Form Fanatic), Emalla LeClerc (FRESHINS), Isabella LaTorre (Cell Belt), Jeremy Montanez (Retractable Flashlight Rod), and Ava Mancini (All in One Tote Bag).

Tashua: Gabby Biondi (Feed Me), Supriya Ganti (EZ Mail Grabber), John Guerrera (Fast-Food Cat Feeder), Sofia Paolella (Swim Caparoo), Olivia Wilkins (Spraybrush), Brooke Eckardt (I-Sick-le-Lollipop), and Lauren Targowski (Pup Proof Garbage Can).

Friends and relatives may find more information about the Connecticut Invention Convention by visiting