WISE GUYS: Students research, invent for annual convention
Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Fourth- and fifth-graders at John Small Elementary School put on their thinking caps as researchers and inventors as part of the third annual Wise Guys Invention Convention.
More than 75 students displayed their work in the school gym Tuesday for other students, staff and parents. Fifth-graders focused on research projects about the original World’s Fair inventions, while fourth-graders created new inventions of their own, according to teacher Kathryn Bryant.
The students’ creativity was apparent, as anything and everything was on display, whether a project on the Ferris Wheel or moving sidewalk, a new pine straw collector or a cover designed to keep hair from getting stuck in one’s glasses.
Bryant said the fourth-grade inventions were usually in response to everyday problems experienced by the young inventors, and she checked to make sure the inventions did not already exist.
“It certainly promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills,” she said. “It also helps build research skills and communication skills.”
Luna Espinoza, a fifth-grader at John Small Elementary, completed a research project on 3-D printing, focusing on how the technology might have been displayed at the World’s Fair.
She said the most fascinating part of her research was when she discovered food could be printed in 3-D.
“I really wanted to learn more about it,” Espinoza said.
Chyna Harvey, also a fifth-grader, did her research on 3-D printing, as well.
Harvey said she enjoyed learning about the new technology, and for her, the most interesting part was learning how new homes can be printed for families who lost their property in a natural disaster.
“I thought it was a cool way to print things without having to buy it,” she said.
Bryant said the annual event is a good way for the students to learn more in depth about topics not necessarily in the curriculum.
Although parents were allowed to help, it was the students creating, learning and inventing, she said.
According to Bryant, the Wise Guys Invention Convention was a way for students to get outside of their comfort zones and use important skills to help them succeed in the future.