"[The Invention Convention] is important because it excites children in grades K-8 to use their creativity and imagination to solve everyday problems using STEM skills " science, technology, engineering and math," said Kerry Orlyk, executive director of the Schenectady Museum. "At the museum our mission is about inspiring children to use their creativity skills, and we hope that by offering the Invention Convention program that [students] will become excited about the invention process at a young age."
She said that she hopes that these students will be inspired early in their lives to continue coming up with innovative creations.
The 1,100 students who submitted ideas for their inventions, were judged on various criteria including uniqueness, thoroughness of explanation and the type of problem the invention solves.
The inventions were on display at the museum through Thursday, May 28. The top 25 finalists were then honored at the Regional Awards Ceremony that evening at the Schenectady Museum.
Two of Orlyk's favorite inventions included a marshmallow that had a piece of chocolate stuck in the middle to ensure more even melting when roasting s'mores. Another invention that she was particularly struck by was a water meter that was placed next to a shower that read how much hot water was left.
"I can relate to this person who had so many siblings that took showers in the morning," said Orlyk. "They could never tell when they were going to have warm water."
The water meter told the user whether the water was warm or not, and if there was warm water, how much was left. If there was no warm water, the meter told the user when more could be expected.
"There are a lot of studies that have been done recently that say that informal learning is where students learn the most. It excites them and it inspires them," said Orlyk. "They want to learn more, and when kids want to learn more they do better."
For more information, visit www.schenectadymuseum.org.""