Inventor's Fair Generates Bright Ideas at MES

Inventor's Fair Generates Bright Ideas at Martin Elementary School
Posted on 10/04/2022
Inventors and Their Inventions
Martin Elementary School is growing a group of promising inventors after a recent 5th grade Inventor’s Fair produced nearly 70 prototypes and models of inventions.

Led by Mrs. Candace Sumner and Mrs. Paige Hatchel, about 70 students in 5th grade Social Studies classes designed and constructed a model of an invention from household items. Students showcased their inventions in presentations at an Inventor’s Fair held at the school on September 19.

The focus of the three-part Social Studies project was a wrap-up to their study on the Gilded Age. Mrs. Sumner’s classes modeled their designs based on the works of famous inventors. Students were instructed to select and fully research an inventor, and then design a poster displaying information about the inventor and inventions. The last step for students was to create a model of the selected invention using items they have at home. 

Mrs. Sumner said that students learned about much more than inventors through their work on this project. 

“In this lesson, students had the chance to use a wide range of skills and learning methods. Teachers try to utilize multiple educational opportunities whenever we can. Students learned about inventors, but they also learned about credible sources and reliable information in research. Building their inventions required engineering, science, and math. They applied critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and adaptability. The final projects are as terrific as they are impressive,” said Mrs. Sumner.

Following the same three-step project method, Mrs. Hatchel’s classes put a twist on the idea by creating inventions that help solve life’s practical problems. 

Mrs. Hatchel said she was inspired by the support that the students offered each other.
“At every step during the process, the students offered each other encouragement. Our students are all creative but sharing new ideas can create understandable apprehension. I was inspired by how the students supported each other’s ideas with kindness, no matter how complex or simple. This type of learning creates excitement and momentum. Peer-to-peer encouragement is a great motivator for student excellence,” said Mrs. Hatchel. 

Principal Patresa Rogers was excited about the creativity of the inventions. 

“I enjoyed attending the fair and hearing directly from each student about their invention and how it will make an aspect of someone’s life easier. Some of our students struggle at times when they have to speak in front of others.  I was so amazed by each of them and their presentations,” said Principal Rogers.

Students commented on various things they learned and the process of building their inventions. 

Wade Vernon created a model of Thomas Edison’s light bulb using Christmas lights, a candy jar, a clock piece, two glowsticks, and a mini cupcake pan. 

Out of cardboard and a plastic flyswatter, Emmett Zimmerman constructed a new type of alarm clock that slaps a sleeper’s face awake in the morning.

Myka Bells developed a model of the Wright Brothers’ airplane from wood she had at home. “The most difficult part of the project was gluing all of the tiny pieces of wood into position. I learned that you can make something beautiful out of simple things from home,” she said.

Aubriana Mobley created the idea for a chicken watering cart from a metal container with tubing that provides a large supply of fresh water for chickens. 

inventions and a group picture of kids

Tinsley Leyhue mentioned that building her paper towel and toothpick reproduction of Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin was simple to construct, while Justin Brown commented that, “Making things fly is hard.”
Dani Pirtle created a life-size Alexa robot friend from boxes and aluminum foil, and Amelie Stooksberry said, “I was proud that I could do so much work on my project by myself.”

Assistant Director of Schools Betsi Foster commented that the project supports the mission of Weakley County Schools.

“The success of the MES Inventor’s Fair demonstrates the unlimited capacity for creativity in student minds. Lessons like these are thoughtfully planned to align with school goals, yearly objectives, and our District mission of providing an educational environment that encourages students to achieve their full potential. Outstanding job to the students, faculty, and staff,” said Foster.

The inventions are on display in the hall of Martin Elementary School for all students, faculty, and staff to enjoy.