Two students from Ottumwa Community Schools were crowned overall winners in the 2020 Invention Convention, held Thursday, January 30 at Liberty Elementary.
Madalynn Sertterh with “Maddy’s Material Sorter” and Jace Walker with “Phone Savior” were crowned overall champions of the 2020 event. Entries winning "Judges' Choice" or runner-up were: Charles Smith with “H.E.R.B. (Home Emergency Responder Beacon),” Carter Cruzen with “Heater Signs,” and Grady Zuithoff and Elijah DePaz with “Tooth Buddy.” The Judges' Choice and overall champions received certificates for free pizza from Domino’s. All students participants received certificates and medals. The State Invent Iowa competition will be held in Iowa City on Monday, April 20, sponsored by the Belin Blank Center at the University of Iowa.
Thirteen elementary and middle school students demonstrated their ingenuity by creating inventions for this year’s Invention Convention. Student participants included: First Grade: Charles Smith, Eisenhower; Carter Cruzen, Douma, Fourth Grade: Madalynn Sertterh, Liberty, Fifth Grade: Isabella Hoffman and Raina Plate, Horace Mann; Jace Walker, Homeschool/Horace Mann, Lydia Krueger, Colton Moore, Noah Fogle, and Hunter Sandegren, Liberty; Sixth Grade: Grady Zuithoff and Elijah DePaz, Evans Middle School; and Seventh Grade: Daniel Steele, Evans.
STEM activities were provided for students at the event. At the awards ceremony, Charles Smith and Isabella Hoffman were the winners of the two free Camp Invention scholarships (a $235 value). Camp Invention is a week-long summer STEM program for students who will be in grades K-6 for the 2020-2021 school year. Camp Invention will be hosted at Evans Middle School from July 6-10. For more information or to register your child, visit https://www.invent.org/.
The local Invention Convention is presented each year by the Ottumwa Community School District. A special thank you to John Deere Ottumwa Works, who sponsored medals for the event and to Domino's Pizza, who donated pizza certificates for the overall champion and Judges' Choice winners. The event coordinator is Breanna Dehrkoop, elementary TAG teacher, with help from Hannah McIntyre, elementary TAG teacher; Heidi Bradford, Evans Middle School TAG teacher; and Ann Youngman, retired elementary TAG teacher. A special thanks to the following for assisting with the event: Nici King, 1st grade teacher at Wilson Elementary; Luis Lozano, Ottumwa High School student helper; Liberty Elementary custodial staff; and Saskija Plate and Amber Pargmann, parent volunteers.