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Cardiff School District students advance to 2021 virtual California Invention Convention

Ada Harris Elementary School
Ada Harris Elementary School 5th grade inventors of the Surf Sway (l-r) Ledger Mullen and Lincoln Hogan. The Surf Sway was a finalist in the invention judging at Ada Harris and has moved onto the California Invention Convention.
(Courtesy)

Cardiff School District recently announced that 16 inventions from Ada W. Harris Elementary School’s fifth grade students have been chosen as finalist and will be moving on to compete in the California Invention Convention being held virtually this year.

“We are so impressed of the tenacity, resilience and dedication that our fifth graders have shown this year toward the invention convention despite not being able to attend the finals in Sacramento,” said Janelle Scheftner, principal of Ada Harris Elementary School. “We were excited to have the opportunity to give the students a large tactical project even though they were only on campus part time. It worked out great because many of them could work on their projects at home and get valuable hands-on learning experience during their virtual home learning time.”

Beginning in early January, all the fifth graders at Ada Harris Elementary School were tasked with developing a new invention to help solve a problem. After coming up with an idea, students were tasked with researching the market and patents to ensure their invention did not already exist. Students also built a prototype and tested the inventions. The entire process was documented using a Google slide presentation. Unique to 2021, students also prepared “pitch videos” to help judges evaluate their inventions, replacing the in-person judging and “old school” display board presentation that is typically set up.

The first round of judging by members of the Ada Harris staff and community included a virtual interview, review of the invention’s process slide presentation and pitch video. This round of judging narrowed the inventions down to 16 of which will compete at the state level. The official California Invention Convention judging began April 5 and the awards ceremony will be broadcast on April 23 at 6 p.m. to announce the winners.

Many of the inventions created by the Ada Harris School students will fall into the Health and Medical Technology category at the state competition. One such invention came from Brody Buck and Luke Moffett called the Actma. The Actma uses a wearable combination wrist device and blood oxygen sensor ring that monitors a child’s vitals to anticipate and help prevent asthma attacks by sending a signal to the parent’s phone via an app. Eva Zatt thoughtfully invented The Elevating Closet for people in wheelchairs who find it very difficult to reach items in closets. With The Elevating Closet people in wheelchairs can have more independence. The system can be used in bedroom closet and used for utility closets and even kitchen cabinets.

Representing the active surf skate lifestyle of local coastal communities, Ledger Mullen and Lincoln Hogan invented the Surf Sway, a fitness board tied to a tree to practice surf and skate moves to improve core strength and balance. The boards are made from repurposed skateboards. Recently, the two inventors held a Surf Sway neighborhood competition that introduced the invention to the community and now they already have order requests.

Luca Lamoureux and Elise Louie thought of their four-legged friends when coming with an idea creating a grooming brush with interchangeable heads for different grooming needs. It’s economic and space saving since it eliminates the need to buy multiple brushes.

“We can’t wait to find out if anyone from Ada Harris wins the Invention Convention and moves on to Nationals,” said Lincoln Hogan, Surf Sway inventor and finalist. “I learned how to work well with my partner and how much work goes into creating something new for the world. I might become an inventor someday.”

The winners from the California Invention Convention group above will qualify to compete in the 6th annual Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, powered by The Henry Ford, an organization that supports the country’s most innovative and inventive minds.

Other Cardiff School District inventions include:

Tyler Ross and Tomas Mendez invented the We Walk Safe, a collapsible cane for the elderly.

Sloane Donnelly has made wearing an IV at home more comfortable.

Molly McCarren created Sign@School, an app with an avatar that does sign language.

 Maya Mendoza created an active toy, The Fidget Master, to help with anxiety in the classroom.

Cody Painter designed a cozy add-on strap to life jackets and backpacks called the HPSN: Help Prevent Sore Necks.

Cecilia Boykin invented a backpack strap to help secure water bottles.

The Baking Multi-Tool from Noah Herman.

Toaster Training Tongs from twins Naomi and Rowan Nelson.

 Miles Keran and Keenan Polan developed The Wonder Walker to assist blind four-legged friends.

Charlie Clarke and Yazlin Arrazate Nunez came up with a solution to stop dogs from chewing furniture. Jillian Russell invented Thera-paw-tic, a soothing dog bed.

Leah Fasack and Skyler Wessel created a stuffed companion for lonely guinea pigs.


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