Inventors speculate at Mill Creek
MADISON – With the Invention Convention, sixth-graders at Mill Creek Elementary School vowed to change the world … at least their own world.
Melanie Coleman, who teaches sixth-grade social studies, led her classes in hosting the ‘convention.’ Each of her students applied for a patent and then planned out his or her invention.
Students “wrote a description and how it would change their world. Each invention was drawn out to help explain how the invention works and what the invention would look like,” Coleman said.
This work “was all part of a PBL (project-based learning) on inventions,” Mill Creek Instructional Partner Tosha Swearingen said. “Their public presentation was to (introduce) their inventions to other classes at Mill Creek. Teachers could sign up to take their classes to the convention.”
At the ‘convention,’ parents and other visitors were encouraged to meet the ‘inventors’ and ask questions. Student inventors explained the motivation for their designs and the materials needed to build it. They promised benefits for the end consumer.
In addition, students stated the retail stores that would sell their products and the costs both to build the design and that a consumer would pay. They also shared the project component that they most enjoyed and the people who assisted with the invention.
Sixth-grader Bailey Duckett created a Super Cleaner 360 that would help her clean her room and “make people’s lives easier because they wouldn’t have to spend so much time cleaning their house,” Duckett said. Super Cleaner 360 was equipped with cleaning supplies.
Inventor Sydney Freeman created the Allergy Detector 1100. This invention will “help people with food allergies because they can scan their food, and it will alert them if they are able to eat the food based on their food allergies,” Freeman said.
Each student also created an Inventor’s Log to document the invention process, daily work and thoughts while creating the project. “We compared these to journals of inventors in the past and talked of how much we can learn from personal accounts of inventors — even student inventors; like they were,” Coleman said.