Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

February 7, 2013

Some good ideas

Regan Intermediate students create their own inventions

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

PENDLETON –– Hockey equipment can stink. A lot.

So, Jackson Keidel, 9, needed a way to get his hockey gloves, pads and skates clean. But without the scent tired out hockey players — and those closest to them — are familiar with.

Keidel's De-Odorizing Docktor Dry simply dries out the equipment by placing each piece on a portion of a rack. The rack is connected to an electric blower which dries out any equipment or piece of clothing.

The set up was an improved version of an invention Keidel made for the Invent-A-Thon last year. The difference this year was the addition of air fresheners, which handle any smells. A vital need for hockey equipment that has been used extensively.

The new and improved version works pretty well, Keidel said.

"So if I bring it in the house to dry, it won't be stinky," he said.

Keidel, a fourth-grader at Regan Intermediate School in the Starpoint School District, was one of 187 kids presenting 117 inventions at the school's annual Invent-A-Thon Thursday night.

The turnout was one of the best Regan Intermediate has ever had, evident in the fact the school had to use two gymnasiums to display the projects. Organizer and fourth-grade teacher, Susan Coffed called the amount of inventions record-breaking.

"It's really exciting," Coffed said.

While only an educated guess, the reason for the increase in participation at the Invent-A-Thon could be because the kids have seen other students participate. Coffed said a number of students have said they wanted to make an invention because a sibling did so before or because they wanted to see their friends and their inventions. 

One Starpoint student wanted to make cleaning up easy. Jason Richardson, 9, created the Robo Trash, a garbage can on wheels that can be operated by a handheld control panel.

"I was sitting down and thought there should be a way to get the garbage can over here," Richardson said.

The Robo Trash was making the rounds in the Regan gym, grabbing some people's attention as they walked by. Richardson said it took him and his dad a few days to make the mobile can.

Fourth-graders Kaitlyn Bender and Mikaela Sirica put together the Dog Dry, an invention that prevents a dog from leaving paw prints on the floor.

The invention was set up as a box-shaped case with holes on top. The dog steps on the case and the paws slid into the holes. A hair dryer is hooked up to help and sponges on the bottom of the case soak up water.

Both of the girls like dogs and Bender has one at home. So when an idea was needed for the Invent-A-Thon, they thought about how hard it is keeping floors clean from paw prints.

"We both liked the idea," Bender said.

Coffed said one of the best things about the Invent-A-Thon is watching the kids interact with the community.

"Watching them explain how it works, they're proud of their projects," she said.

Consider reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.