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Invention Convention encourages problem solving

The Invention Convention, an annual event hosted by the Schenectady Museum draws some interesting innovations. Photo Submitted.

The Invention Convention, an annual event hosted by the Schenectady Museum draws some interesting innovations. Photo Submitted.

— “Everybody wins…it gets the kids thinking about any problem they may see,” he said.

Kali Nagler, library media specialist at Lake Avenue Elementary School in Saratoga Springs incorporates the convention as part of the library science curriculum she teaches. She said it helps students to “formulate a higher level of questioning and problem solving.”

Andrew Patnode, 11, is a fifth-grade student at Nolan Elementary School. He invented the shoe magnet, which prevents shoe laces from becoming tangled. With the help of a clip magnet placed on the side of a shoe and “some sticky magnetic tape” on the ends of the laces, he seems to have solved the problem.

“I thought of it when I was tying my shoes one day and the shoelaces were really long…it took a couple of hours to make,” said Patnode.

Marie Lehmann, a fifth-grader at Lake Avenue Elementary School in Saratoga rides horses in her spare time and has solved a common problem she encounters. She has invented a light picker, which is like a big dental instrument with a light attached used to get debris out of horse shoes.

“I made a hoof pick to use on the horses at night or when the inside of the stall is dark. It’s like a normal hoof pick, but it has a light on the end so you can see better to get the stuff out of their shoes,” she said.

Prince, the horse she rides should appreciate the innovation.

The other seven semifinalists from Saratoga are: Claire Barton who invented the Hedge Dog Coat, Gary Blanchard who invented Gloves On, Lauren Closson with the Wash Glove, Alla Dalton with Alarm Clock Tickling Blanket, Liam Epstein who invented the Nose Muff, Amanda Leske who made the The Filthy Filter, and Patrick Whiteside with Heat-o-Hat.

The Ballston Spa Central School District had five students chosen as semifinalists. Bairbre McCarthy has been teaching for 15 years and instructs Ballsoton Scholars, using the convention as part of the coursework.

“We do a unit on inventions and I encourage them to enter. I really was so impressed that even third-graders that came up with great ideas,” said McCarthy.

Semifinalists from Ballston Spa are: Shea McNamara invented the Smart Marker, Kaelan Kasowski with an Expandable Clothes Hanger, Robbie Bodien invented a robot to find lost golf balls, Michael Poirier came up with Hot Ski Poles and Matthew Poirier invented a cough drop chewing gum.

For more information on the convention, visit schenectadymuseum.org

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