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Students think up useful products

Glendale Unified's Invention Convention features a 'Board Brace,' 'Book Bed Band' and a Band-Aid with a viewing strip.

December 16, 2012|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Fremont Elementary School 4th grader Ethan Park shows off his 'Playground Tubies' invention at Glendale Unified School District's 19th annual Invention Convention held at Glendale High School. The tubies keep kids elbows safe in the playground. The convention drew about 122 projects from 4th through 7th grade students.
Fremont Elementary School 4th grader Ethan Park shows… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

The cafeteria at Glendale High School was filled with problem-solving projects on Saturday as the district's Invention Convention featured creations made by elementary students that very well could end up in stores — or on QVC — sometime in the future.

It was the 19th year for the event, which received 122 entries that ranged from a toothbrush that holds a variety of dental care items to a Band-Aid that keeps a cut visible while it's healing — both winning entries from fifth-graders.

Taking first place at the sixth-grade level was Rachel Hart from Dunsmore Elementary, who created the “Book Bed Band,” which is a piece of stretchable material that wraps around a mattress and holds a soft container that sits on the side of the bed, where books and other bedtime items can be stored.

“Every night when I go to bed, I read and write in my journal. I needed somewhere to put my book so I didn't have to crawl over to put it on my dresser,” Rachel said.

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Fourth-grader Luke Johnson from RD White Elementary took top honors at his grade level with the “Board Brace,” a thick plastic material that can be attached to the front and back of a skateboard, protecting against cracks, chips and dents.

“As a skater … all the time I'm doing tricks and I'm always not landing them, and the skateboard goes flying, hitting concrete and cracking,” Luke said.

Sophie Viray from RD White Elementary is the fifth-grader who invented the “Heal N' Peel Band-Aid.” She cut a Band-Aid in half, then rejoined each piece with clear tape, but the Band-Aid halves don't touch in the middle so the tape allows the user to see how the cut is healing.

“I got a scrape and I had to use a lot of Band-Aids,” Sophie said. When she would peel back the Band-Aid to check on her cut, the Band-Aid wouldn't stick anymore, and she'd have to get a new one.

“I couldn't see when it healed,” she said.

The “Toothbrush Plus,” was created by fifth-grader Isabella Bruyere from Mark Keppel Visual and Performing Arts Magnet. In addition to the toothbrush at the top, other items such as dental floss, toothpaste and mouthwash are all contained in a modified handle. A small window lets the user know when the toothpaste is running low.

“A lot of kids hate brushing their teeth,” Isabella said. “I just figured it was so much easier to have everything rolled into one. That way it would be easy and convenient to use all the time.”

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Follow Mark on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam.

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