Students share bright ideas at Invention Convention

Students throughout the Capital District in kindergarten through eighth grade were challenged to stretch their minds and come up with an invention to make life easier last month at the Schenectady Museum's Invention Convention.

Abigail August, a sixth-grader at Scotia-Glenville Middle School was one of 25 finalists out of 1,100 entries for her invention of a vibrating alarm clock.

I don't really like the sound of the loud alarm clock when it wakes you up, so I came up with a vibrating alarm clock, said August, who invented a clock that provides a pleasant break from slumber.

"I got a bear and I cut a hole in its stomach, and I put a clock in it. That's basically it," said August. "You hold on to it during the night, and whenever the time comes in the morning, it vibrates and wakes you up."

She said that the project took about a week to complete. She bought a teddy bear from Build-a-Bear at Crossgates Mall, figured out how she was going to get an alarm clock in the bear's stomach (Velcro is key) and then assembled her invention.

"It worked," said August.

Of the original 1,100 entries, 100 students were chosen to create a display of their model, which was then exhibited at the Schenectady Museum last month. Of those 100 entrants, 25 were chosen as finalists to go on to the State Recognition Ceremony, which will be held this year in Rochester. Finalists from four other regions across the state will join them. This year, the other regional competitions were held in Binghamton, Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse.

Students were invited to submit a proposal of an original idea for a device or a method for solving a problem that can occur in the environment, in technology or industry, in the classroom, home or even during leisure time activities. A volunteer team of scientists, patent lawyers and other professionals from the community evaluated the submissions and chose the top 100 entries.

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