Innovation was rewarded for a group of Clarenceville students as part of the second annual Kids Invention Contest.
Grandview Elementary School second graders Mark Popkov and Katherine Kusisto, and Clarenceville Middle School sixth graders Jacob Patterson and Evan Keoshian earned cash prizes in the contest.
The contest – designed to create a youthful interest in building things – was coordinated by AlphaUSA, Schoolcraft College Manufacturing Department, Livonia AM Rotary Club, and the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. The coordinates assembled a team of judges to evaluate the creativity, practicality and presentation of the dozen students who were challenged to describe their invention in writings and drawings on two pieces of paper. The students were divided into the middle and elementary divisions.
In the elementary division, Popkov won first place for “Kids Tube,” a kid-friendly version of YouTube, and Kusisto earned second play for “Mixer Bixer 3,000,” a quick, food-making device. In the middle school division, Patterson won first place for “Emergency Alerter,” a device that provides color-coded lights in a home’s front window to alert first responders to the type of emergency inside. Keoshian earned second for “Mu-tooth” a unique, wireless earpiece to listen to music. Keoshian also was a contest winner in the inaugural contest last year.
“We feel this is a great way to install a passion among young people to build things,” said Chuck Dardas, AlphaUSA’s president and chief operating officer. “Our manufacturing industry needs these talented young people in the future.”
The winners were announced and invention contest participants were acknowledged during an assembly at Clarenceville High School on June 11. During the presentation, students were encouraged to consider building things as they look at potential careers.
“Among the greatest need for future jobs in southeast Michigan are creative, skilled workers for manufacturing, electronics, engineering, and informational technology,” said Chamber President Dan West. “This contest is a way to increase awareness of these future opportunities for the students and their parents.”