Inventions Show Creativity Finegan Students Tackle Problems

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

A pair of shoes that doubles as a mop. A pencil that gives the time and date. A bicycle helmet with a water bottle attached to it. A pair of crutches with gel to soften the underarm friction.

These are some of the inventions that were displayed at Joseph Finegan Elementary School's Invention Convention last week.

As a science class project, children in first, third, fourth and fifth grades had to come up with solutions to simple problems, then create an inventions to solve them.

"This is an opportunity to show their intelligence and be creative," said Nicki Salter, a third-grade science teacher and coordinator for the school's Invention Convention.

The students had four weeks to come up with an idea, research it, come up with an invention then advertise their product.

"It's time-consuming but the kids love it," Salter said.

Third-grader Alex Jalali and his two classmates, Hudson Jalali and Chris Sweet, came up with a novel idea after having trouble reaching for a drink while riding their bicycles.

The "Handy" Drink-o-Matic is a bicycle helmet that has a water bottle attached to it with Velcro.

Jalali said the Drink-o-Matic makes it easier and safer for kids to get a drink while bicycling.

Another invention came after a student saw a family member suffering while using crutches.

"I got the idea because my mom was on crutches for six months and it started hurting real bad," said Amber Brown, an 8-year-old third-grader. …