Six young Monroe inventors compete at Ohio State Fair

Members of Monroe City Council recognized several young inventors who will be competing at the Ohio State Fair this weekend. The young inventors designed their inventions at the Monroe Invention Convention at the MidPointe Library. CONTRIBUTED
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Members of Monroe City Council recognized several young inventors who will be competing at the Ohio State Fair this weekend. The young inventors designed their inventions at the Monroe Invention Convention at the MidPointe Library. CONTRIBUTED

A no-mess S’mores maker, a highlighting eraser, a heated hoodie with pillow and a soccer ball with a touch/dribble tracking device all sound like things that might be on a late-night infomercial .

However, these are the creations by Monroe Elementary School students that will be part of a competition this weekend at the Ohio State Fair.

Cari Hillman, public relations manager for the MidPointe Library System, said 10 students participated in the Invention League Program last school year. She said this is the second year the library system has worked with Monroe Elementary School.

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“The library brought this program to the school because it offers a way for students to combine creativity with mathematics, science, technology, communication and art,” Hillman said in an email. “This competition is also an opportunity for local community institutions, organizations and businesses to participate in a project with the students.”

Hillman said Anne Howard, a MidPointe Library specialist, led students through a seven-month process to develop their inventions. Howard also recruited and organized the judges and mentors from the community and Susan Cooper, Monroe Local School’s STEAM teacher, is the advisor for the after-school club. Ten children participated in the local Invention Convention competition in April.

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Of those 10 students, six students who were either a finalist or semi-finalist will represent Monroe at the state fair competition this weekend. Those finalists and semi-finalists competing from Monroe and their inventions are:

  • Zach Bachmann, grade six finalist, a no-mess S'mores maker
  • Kendall Bowen, grade five finalist, a highlighting eraser
  • Sam McCausland, grade five finalist, a device to prevent items from falling into a sewer
  • Ian Race, grade five finalist, a soccer ball with a touch/dribble tracking device
  • Cailyn Gallagher, grade five semi-finalist, heated hoodie with pillow
  • Haley Gajus, grade five semi-finalist, easy sailboat assembly for kids.

Other students who were finalists or semi-finalist but who are not competing at the state fair include:

  • Connor Witte, grade five finalist, a school desk organizer
  • Belle Reese, grade five semi-finalist, a light switch turn-off reminder/warning
  • Micah Tarin, grade six semi-finalist, magnetic baseball retriever
  • Matt Melone, grade seven semi-finalist, an "Attention App" using virtual and augmented reality to help individuals focus when needed

The students were recognized by Monroe City Council earlier this week.

The students will be competing starting at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

Following the judging, the inventions will be on public display starting at 5:45 p.m., with the Awards Ceremony scheduled at 6:45 p.m. at the Rhodes Center at the state fairgrounds in Columbus.

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