BA2_3401For the fourth year in a row, students in grade 2 explored innovation, inquiry and impact by studying inventions and inventors. After completing their research on famous inventors, including everyday people known for coming up with solutions to make something smaller, smarter, faster, or overall more efficient, students discovered that in order to succeed, most individuals experience fail up moments and face multiple trials before ultimately reaching success.

Exemplifying the notion that curiosity and passion drive learning, every student in the second grade was asked to determine a problem they might regularly encounter and subsequently discover a solution to eliminate that problem, in the form of an original invention. Each student was given a budget of $20 to work on their invention at home. Over the course of several weeks, students developed prototypes to bring into the class to receive feedback and tweak or improve their inventions. At the end of the unit, students reflected on questions, such as “How are you being an effective collaborator?” and “How did the feedback you received impact your prototype?”

This year, the students’ Inventions unit was elevated by implementing a Project-Based-Learning (PBL) approach. Students worked in groups to create prototypes that might help various MVPS faculty members with a specific need. For example, one class came up with several solutions for art teacher Ms. Kat to organize her art studio. Another in-class invention challenge was for Mrs. Blumencranz at the front desk. Four prototypes were created to help her close the door to the K Commons area. Mrs. B was so impressed with the inventions, she said, “I loved how all these inventions worked to solve the same problem, but each one was so different!”

Additionally, for the first time this year, teachers incorporated a “money” aspect, focusing on budgets and how inventors initially get money to fund their projects. Students used “play money” in their groups when they had to “buy” various materials for their in-school inventions. This helped to build a real-world understanding of the invention process and the importance of money in our every day lives.

Led by Head of Lower School Shelley Clifford, four students opened the convention with a presidential-themed skit as a creative way to tell parents and visitors the process the students go through, how it aligns with Mount Vernon’s mission, as well as how to give helpful and kind feedback.

Student comments: 
Ashlyn Beard: “I loved how parents asked me questions about my inventions.”

Carter Alewine: “One reason I enjoyed the invention unit is because I learned about people who changed the world.”

Kendall Blair: “I learned that it’s not easy building inventions because you work hard to get it right and it still doesn’t work.”

Mollie Martin: “I love inventing because it is challenging.”

Charlotte Cloud: “I like to see people collaborating and working together. Working together gets things done faster. I bet in your job you will have to work with other people.”

Trey Rutecky: “It always takes more than one idea to succeed.”

Mrs. Bradford’s Class:

  • BA2_3596Jessie – Sliplight – slippers with lights to help guide you down the hall at night
  • Harper – Sleep Tight Bug Finder
  • Allie Grace – Snoopy sling – sling for dogs who no longer have the use of their hind legs
  • Mariana – Puppy desk
  • Simon – Rain Water to Dog Kennel – rain water comes down from roof of kennel, is filtered in the walls/pipes, and then comes out into trough in dog kennel
  • Reilly – The MegaGuard
  • Sam – Cozy Coat – coat with built-in pockets for hard warmer
  • Elena – The Snap On Lacrosse Clip – attachment on lacrosse stick to help hold your goggles, mouth piece, keys, etc.
  • Will – Basketball Buddy – watch that keeps track of score when you have no else to play basketball with. Includes lights and the watch will talk back to you
  • Hugh – Lego Safe
  • Coleson – Strike Zone Hamper – hamper designed to make cleaning up clothes more fun. “Strike Zone” for tossing clothes into
  • Madi – Attention, Pets – dog megaphone to help call your pet when they are outside

Ms. Stephenson’s Class:

  • BA2_3485Ashlyn – Spinning Christmas Tree Stand
  • Tori – Lighted Helmet
  • Jackson – Bluetooth Sport Glasses
  • Dustin – Phone Blocker
  • Mac – Flashlight Shoes
  • Olivia – Puppy Fountain
  • Addison – Doggy Door Lock
  • Will – Phone Holder
  • Taylor – Mail Conveyor Belt
  • Ritika – Paint Palooza
  • Ben – Dog Food Tube
  • Ethan – The Writer

Ms. Terry’s Class:

  • IMG_2788Dylan – Mr. Feeder – automatic hamster feeder
  • Julia – Book Holder 2000
  • Hollyn – Sticky Swimmers (Judges’ Favorite Award)
  • Nicky – Nicky’s Wacky Lego Box
  • Trey – Penta-cleaner
  • Mollie – Wheelie Up
  • Michael – Sock Chute
  • McKinley – Magic Seed Box
  • Hunter Reese – Swing Madness
  • Charlotte – Roller Trains
  • Lauren – Cat Car

Ms. Rothbard’s Class:

  • BA2_3676Carter -The Magno
  • Kendall – The Automatic Scooter
  • Benjamin – The Lego Magnetize Sorter
  • Aidan – The Automatic Dog Washer
  • Asher – Fire Safety System
  • Hudson – The Food Cooling System
  • Will  – The Snake Vibrator
  • Claire – The Cook’s Caddy
  • Noah – Kid Pops
  • Jenna – Manatee Saver
  • Marley – Barbie Storer
  • Olivia – All Around the World Eyes
  • Cole – The Fish Feeder

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