Coon Rapids MS students show off their inventiveness

Coon Rapids Middle School students showed off their inventions Saturday morning.

It was the annual invention fair organized by teacher John Chasteen in the school gymnasium.

There were 33 entries, which were all judged.

Several donated prizes were awarded in a number of categories, including most creative invention, best prototype, most marketable, best display/presentation and best overall invention.

Students from sixth-, seventh- and eighth grades were represented at the invention fair.

But most were from the sixth grade because their science classes have an engineering principles component, according to Chasteen.

“They have learned the flow chart for engineering,” Chasteen said.

Indeed, since engineering principles became part of the sixth-grade science curriculum at the school, entries in the invention fair have increased, he said.

Sixth-graders were encouraged to enter projects in the invention fair, but it was entirely optional and all inventions were worked on outside of school, Chasteen said.

“All they needed to do was to show up on May 5 with their invention and be ready to explain it to people,” he said.

According to Chasteen, the quality of entries May 5 was very high.

“There are so many good prototypes this year,” Chasteen said.

Chasteen also saw a lot of marketable prototypes and said some were already being used by students in their homes.

Prize winners were:

• Best overall invention: Jasmine Gutierrez, smart tube.

• Most creative: Josh Buerkley, sheepskin; Julia Byrne, laptop bunny; Hannah Skibbe, secret stair.

• Best prototype: Chinyerie Okoroh, candy popper; Francis Croal, brella pack; John Hilst, hand extension.

• Most marketable: Jeffrey Smith, shopping cart cover and wheel brush; Alejandro Soto, breathing backpack; Natalie Lindeman, cord coder.

• Best display/presentation: Maddie Brunner, mini-style tennis court; Rilee Skoquist-Nolan, multi-holder; Michelle Oneykaba, make-up mask.

Prize donors to the science fair at the school included the Coon Rapids Mat Bandits Wrestling Club, the Bakken Museum, Burger King, Applebee’s and some in-school organizations.

Madeline Brunner, a sixth-grader at Coon Rapids Middle School, explains her mini-style tennis court invention to judge Carey Chasteen. It won a prize for best display-presentation. Photos by Peter Bodley Jeff and Sheryl Doughty stop by Rylee Skoquist-Nolan’s invention, a multi-holder with many applications, which won a prize for best display/presentation. Tom Shaw, Coon Rapids Middle School principal and a judge at the invention fair, listens as eighth-grader John Hilst demonstrates his hand-extender, which won a best prototype award. Sixth-grader Alaysia Elliott tells John Chasteen, Coon Rapids Middle School teacher and invention fair organizer, about her invention, a spoon clip.
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Madeline Brunner, a sixth-grader at Coon Rapids Middle School, explains her mini-style tennis court invention to judge Carey Chasteen. It won a prize for best display-presentation. Photos by Peter Bodley

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]