By FI School Teachers Carol Giles, Tawnya Eastman, and Jared Kaplan
Earlier this year, 17,000 students from 247 elementary and middle schools across Connecticut began the innovative and creative process of designing an invention for the Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC). The student inventors can create an original device or innovate on a preexisting invention. Each school is allowed to send 15% of their students to one of four regional competitions throughout Connecticut. With our numbers, the CIC allowed us to submit four of our student inventors to the Eastern Regional competition. Both 7th and 8th grade classes competed for the four spots, and Arabella Hatfield, Andie Steele, Lillian Kane, and Constance Toldo presented projects that won recognition.
Approximately, 2,550 projects are judged at the regional level. Each inventor is interviewed by other student inventors and expert judges in the field of engineering. Of the 17,000 students that started the competition, only 7%, or 1200 inventors, are selected to compete at the state level. ALL four of our students were selected to move onto the State competition at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
On Saturday, April 29th the four Fishers Island School representatives visited Gampel Pavilion to compete in the state level of the CIC. After a day of presenting and pitching their ideas to some of the most influential companies in the field of engineering, all four of our students were presented with awards. Arabella Hatfield received the Invention Convention’s Recognized Inventor Award and $500 Early College Experience (ECE) scholarship that is hosted through UCONN. Lillian Kane received the CASE award from the Invention Convention sister competition, the CT State Science fair, and a $500 Early College Experience (ECE) scholarship. Andersen Steele received a $500 Early College Experience (ECE) scholarship. Constance Toldo received a certificate of completion for making it to this challenging level of competition.
In addition to these successful recognitions, 8th grader, Arabella Hatfield was one of the top 40 inventors selected to participate in the National Invention Convention. As one of the 0.2% achieving this level, Arabella has the opportunity to compete for a national patent later this month in Washington D.C.
Principal Karen Goodwin said, "I speak for the entire school when I say we couldn’t be more proud of our brilliant inventors. They represented our school with their heads held high, ready to take on any challenge that they faced. They have put an immense amount of effort into their inventions, and it is easy to see that it has taken them extremely far.
"I would also like to give special thanks to Tracy Brock, Greg Thibodeau, and Rob Goodwin who served as our local panel of judges and helped us make the arduous decision of which four students would move on and attend the regional level of the competition."