Marcellus students win invention competition

In her log, Alexis wrote, "I was in the car when I though about my lunchbox and how dirty the tables were. Then I thought of an idea about a lunchbox turning into a mat." Alexis said that when people have allergies they need to take precautions and not come in contact with any foods they are allergic to. The "Lunch-O-Matic" is a combination lunchbox and mat that provides a barrier between foods and germs left by other students sharing the same table. The "Lunch-O-Matic" lunchbox easily folds out to become a placemat. When you are done eating, you can just fold it back into a lunchbox. The special design and Velcro make it easy to do.

In addition to their award winning invention ideas, the three girls did an outstanding job of keeping a detailed log, presenting their ideas on a freestanding display board, and making a terrific model. They also researched to make sure their invention ideas were new.

McKenna and Colette will share the $500 U.S. Savings Bond awarded to Second Place Winners. Each will receive a bond in the amount of $250. Alexis will receive a $100 U.S. Savings bond. INVENT AMERICA! awards one First, Second, and Third Place Winner and two Honorable Mention Winners at each grade level.

INVENT AMERICA! uses the following criteria to judge inventions that are submitted:

*Originality/Usefulness: 50 points (Is the idea truly unique? Does it solve a real

problem or satisfy a real need? Is it practical and marketable?)

*Written Description: 20 points

*Research Performed: 20 points

*Illustration: 10 points

Congratulations, Colette and McKenna, and Alexis on your wonderful inventions and outstanding accomplishments!

The 2009 Marcellus Invention Convention will be held next year in March.

5th Grade Spell-a-thon Raises Money for Jambo Jipya School

Earlier this year Keela Dates visited Mrs. Ercole's fifth grade classroom at Driver Middle School. Keela is a teacher/volunteer at Jambo Jipya School in Kenya whose mission is to "aid the orphaned and at-risk children of Kenya -- specifically the children of Jambo Jipya School." Keela shared what a typical day is like for a child, the amount of space the school occupies, the size of a classroom, what the children have to eat, the sleeping accommodations for those that live at the school, and many other eye-opening facts. The students were struck by much of the information and wanted to know what they could do to help. During a class discussion after Keela left the students suggested some type of sale or other fundraiser to help improve the lives of the children at Jambo Jipya. A month or so later, Keela returned to DMS for a presentation to each of the 4-6 grade level classrooms to raise awareness and help children here appreciate what they sometimes take for granted. Once again the students in Mrs. Ercole's class suggested doing something for the children in Kenya. They decided to hold a spell-a-thon. Many students from Mrs. Hart's class also chose to participate. Students were given 100 words to study and then went out to get sponsors. Sponsors could either give a flat amount or pledge a per-word amount and then pay based on the student's score on the spelling test. The students were quite excited when the estimated amount was over $1,000. However their excitement grew even more when the total amount of $1,751.21 was announced! The students were so proud and this experience has made them realize that although they are young they can still make a difference in the world.

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