Written by Maggie Bradford, Grade 2 Teacher

IMG_7169Imagine an easier and perhaps improved life with tools like a “Dog Quieter”, a “Body Blankie” or a “Sticker Vader”. Mount Vernon’s second graders went beyond imagining to bring these tools to life through the 5th annual Invention Convention.

Over the course of a 6-week unit, grade 2 students gained in-depth, real-world learning experiences as they brainstormed, designed, and built invention prototypes. Students learned that the inventing process is oftentimes the result of making mistakes and that these “fail up” moments can ultimately lead to success. The project gave students the chance to apply the skills they learn in school to personally relevant and community-based situations.

After considering the driving question, “How might we create inventions to improve our lives and community?”, all second grade students set out to determine a potential, everyday problem that they could help to solve with their very own invention idea. While students stayed busy designing and building their prototypes at home, at school they learned about famous inventors, inventions that have changed the world, and they even discussed the importance of determining and staying within a budget. Kind, helpful, and specific feedback from their peers helped the second grade students to periodically self-check their progress and helped to guide revisions and tweaks to their prototypes.

A Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach was implemented into the unit when the second graders were challenged to collaborate with classmates to solve real problems faced by the Facility Team members in our Mount Vernon community. After conducting multiple empathy interviews, students built prototypes for Mr. Steve Ray and his team. Examples of these prototypes included an automatic mop, scissor linkage shoes to cut carpet strings, and a new type of window washer.

Excitement was high as parents, teachers, and classmates gathered in Fellowship Hall for this year’s Invention Convention kick-off skit. With guidance from Head of Lower School Shelley Clifford, a small group of second grade students produced and acted out a skit that informed their audience of the journey they had taken through the Invention unit and the many things that they had learned along the way.

Student Comments:

  • Kiara Richards: “Inventing is so much more fun than recess!”
  • Vince Harris: “I loved showing off our inventions to different parents. I knew it was fun from the start.”
  • Maro Ogufere: “You have to remember that when you build, you can’t do it all by yourself.”
  • Annabeth Whitney: “My favorite part was doing the skit on the stage with all of those people watching. It was really fun to do.”

Mrs. Bradford’s Class Inventions:

  • Brooklyn Bollier- Cord Be Gone cordless hairdryer
  • James Dockter- The Dog Helper
  • Christian Brieman- The Toy Swapper
  • Vince Harris- The Body Blankie
  • Hunt Houseman- The Lego RC Nurf Cleaner-Upper
  • Charlotte McMillan- The Pumping Sea Turtles
  • Gabriel Morris- The Super Ball laundry
  • Maro Ogufere- The Sink Buster
  • Trey Streck- StickerVader
  • Julia Threlkeld- Hiker Helper
  • Ale Urdaneta- Pet Food and Water Slide
  • Annabeth Whitney- Fishbowl Friend
  • Emma Laura Woodall- Puppy “Spaw” Water System

Mrs. Stephenson’s Class Inventions:

  • Brady Black- Drip Catcher
  • Annabelle Bolton- The Cleaning Solution
  • Harris Bradford- Morning Waker
  • Joy Bryant- Book Branch
  • Hannah Douglas- Zippity Laundry
  • Rex Garlinghouse- Soap Glasses
  • Nolan Grafton- Glove Scrubber
  • Sophia Hardie- Barbie Trend
  • Mary Laborde- Door Alarm
  • Kade Minutaglio- Super Sponge
  • Piper Neumann- Dog Quieter
  • Joe Rosenbaum- Super Cupper
  • Andrew Sevcik- Backpack Organizer
  • Patton Vargas- SIS- Smell It Safe

Mrs. Rutledge’s Class Inventions:

  • Tina Alfred: Puppy Roller
  • Chase Betz: Cup Keeper
  • Sebastian Cantrell: Hover Vac
  • David Hill: Ping Pong Picker Upper
  • Cullen Jefferson: Perimeter Park
  • Graham Kelly: Door Holder
  • Trevor Lordo: Jacket Packet
  • Sophie McClellan: Car Valet
  • Sydney McGoldrick: ODSV: Old Dog Super Vision
  • Jake Merrick: Rain Bot
  • Caroline Rogers: Booster Seat Heater 5000
  • Tommy Schweninger: Super Relaxing Jewelry Cleaner
  • Ethan Siggers: Turtle Activated
  • Meera Yadav: Dancing Mop

Ms. Goodell’s Class

  • Aubree Brown – The Scooper Cleaner Upper
  • Chase Daniels  – The Cast Writer
  • Cade Dehem – Snack -n-Trash
  • Sam DeLima  – Turtle Playground 4000
  • Madison Dunn  – The Attention Getter
  • Jessie Fentress  – The Daily Go Dresser
  • Peyton Fuller  – The Door Alarm 8000
  • Larkin Houston – The Laundry Chair
  • Emma McKenzie – Robo Book Holder
  • Charlotte McNerney – The Carsick Caddy
  • Lydia Nagy – Beach Zipline
  • Kiara Richards – Solar Panel Children Sign
  • Leonardo Santorelli – Pillow Cooler
  • Dalton Siggers – Weapons on the Move
  • Siena Tiffin  – The Dog Umbrella

 

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