Announcing US Nationals 2020 Award Winners from CT

Congratulations to the 23 students from Connecticut who won awards at the Invention Convention 2020 U.S. Nationals. The students were among nearly 500 award-winning inventors from across the nation who competed. In total, 120,000 K-12 students from across the United States took part in invention education programs this year.


The complete list of U.S. winners is available here. If you weren’t able to tune in for the awards ceremony Watch Party, check it out on YouTube.

The winners include:

Josie Steffenson, 1st grade from Manchester, won 2nd place in her grade category for Sock Lock. “My invention has built in fasteners so that when you are done wearing them you can attach them to their match, and they will stay together in the washer/dryer and will not have any more missing socks or incomplete pairs,” she says. VIDEO

Eshan Amin, 3rd grade from Norwalk, won 3rd place in his grade category for Toy Scraper 2.0. “This tool will allow you to easily pull out toys and other small items that get swept under furniture,” he explains. “The special features of the Toy Scraper 2.0 are a telescopic wand to reach far under furniture, a button light to see what is under the furniture, a scraper/rake head to grab onto the items, and a magnet to pull out metal objects.” VIDEO

Josie Pethrick, 4th grade from Stratford, won the Agriculture and Food Award for Egg Savior, an egg collecting tray that prevents chickens destroying the eggs before collection. “My invention collects the eggs out of reach of the chicken’s beak and keeps them protected until we take them out of the nesting box,” she explains. VIDEO

Gauri Kumbar, 4th grade from South Windsor, won the Best Video Presentation Award and 2nd place in her grade category for Water Conservation in Aquaponics. “In aquaponics, water pH tends to increase from 7 to 14 due to the accumulation of waste from the fish,” she explains. “This rise in pH cannot support the growth of plants or fish. Thus, water needs to be changed frequently. The goal of this project is to come up with an inexpensive filter that can neutralize the alkaline pH of the aquaponics water. This invention will save water, the time needed for the change of filters and reduce filter recycling because this filter can be reused.” VIDEO

Maya DiMauro, 5th grade from Hamden, took home three awards, the Cantor Colburn Patent Application Award, the Global Impact Award for Market Potential, and 3rd place in her grade category for survIVe. “My invention makes the experience of receiving IV treatments more comfortable and less scary for pediatric patients,” she says. “It is a soft pillow sized to a patient’s arm using three adjustable straps. It houses a traditional armboard located in a pocket under the pillow and includes a detachable stuffed animal for distraction and comfort.” VIDEO

Graham Gosselin, 5th grade from Fairfield, took the Health and Medical Award and 1st place in his grade category for Sure Contact Cane, a cane that uses haptics to let users know when the cane is solidly on the ground. “The cane is designed to help people with brain injuries, tumors or strokes who don’t always have a good connection between mind and body and don’t know if their cane is on the ground correctly,” he says. “My mom had a brain tumor and she had trouble using a cane and I wanted to help her. The cane is affordable at under $10. And can help millions of people as the cane is the most popular mobility device.” VIDEO

Georgia Anderson, 5th grade from Ridgefield, won the Environmental and Sustainability Award and the Social Value Award for Sudz for the Sea. “There’s too much plastic being used and ending up in the ocean,” she says. “My invention is a soap dispenser for grocery stores that lets people refill their soap bottles to reduce plastic waste going into the ocean.” VIDEO

Liana Kazarian, 5th grade from Southport, took 2nd place in her grade category and the Consumer Goods and Fashion Award for Zero Mess Tray. “With my invention you can take your food anywhere and leave the mess behind,” Kazarian says. “Eating on-the-go can be comfortable, sturdy, easy, and environmentally friendly.” VIDEO

Avaneesh Savkar, 5th grade from South Windsor, won the innovation in AI/Robotics Award, presented by UB TECH Robotics, for No Child Left Behind. “The project is about creating a smart seat that communicates with the parents through their smartphones to inform them their child is in the car seat,” he says. “It also detects the surrounding temperature in the car and alerts the adult in the car if it is too hot or too cold for the baby.” VIDEO

Krishiv Patel, 6th grade from Shelton, won a Wilmerhale Patent Application Award for his invention, Tubular Trash Tin. “My invention is a trash lock that is designed to keep animals getting into trash can, but when the trash truck comes it still opens without manually unlocking it,” he explains. “It is categorized as a gravity lock and uses a lever to function.” VIDEO

Chloe Simoes, 6th grade from Thomaston, was honored with the Household Organization and Appliances Award for BaRs. “My invention solves the problem of music falling off the stand when someone walks by, or you have a concert where it is windy, well then you could use a ‘Bunchies'”, she says. “But if you need a multiple page song, then you may need a ‘Ringer’.” VIDEO

Gretchen Kelly, 6th grade from Stafford, won 3rd place in her grade category for EASIM – Ecofriendly Automatic Sidewalk Ice Melter. “My invention is an environmentally friendly, automatic robot that is solar powered,” she says. “EASIM is designed to continually deice the sidewalk to minimize the risk of falling. He also can aid people from serious shoveling related injuries.” VIDEO

Sydnie Smith, 6th grade from Farmington, won the Best Prototype Award and took 1st place in her grade category for The Slider Binder. “My invention allows a person to replace broken three ring binder rings without having to replace the entire binder,” she explains. “The Slider Binder has a positive impact on the environment as it promotes reducing waste as people would no longer have to throw out their broken binders. Instead, they would be reusing their binders and only replacing the broken rings when needed.” VIDEO

Sophia Blumenreich, 6th grade from Danbury, took home the Animal Care and Pets Award for her invention, The Bit Blaster. “Horses sometimes get sick because of cross-contamination between bits from one horse to the next,” she explains. The Bit Blaster sterilizes the bacteria on horse bits using UV light. It also solves the problem of barn owners not being able to have an efficient way to clean the bits. It offers a quick and convenient way for horse owners, barn owners, and trainers to disinfect their horse’s bridles and bits, making them more likely to do it.” VIDEO

Simon Karpinski, 7th grade from Lyme, took two awards: The Innovation in Automotive Award, presented by Maxim Integrated, as well as the Transportation Award for JumpStart, a solution for safer jumper cables. “My invention provides clear direction on the proper order of application of jumper cables while providing additional light to a darkened environment,” he says. VIDEO

Aashvi Shah, 7th grade from Tolland, won 3rd place in her grade category for Candy-Gradable Wrapper. “My invention is a biodegradable candy wrapper that doesn’t produce micro plastics and is made with safe ingredients that don’t harm wild/marine life,” she says. “These wrappers dissolve in water within minutes. When composted or thrown away, they disintegrate in a time of 1-2 days. These wrappers also have ingredients that feed many animals, so it is essentially good for them if consumed. The main ingredients used for this project are gelatin, water, and glycerin.” VIDEO

Abigail Belding, 8th grade from Colchester, took 3rd in her grade category for The Easy Exit 3.0: The Descent, a device that opens the window when a fire alarm activated switch is pressed. “The Descent extends down with a harness that the person then places around their arms chest,” she says. “The device then pulls the person out the window and lowers them to the ground. It then resets to bring out other people if needed.” VIDEO

Ana-Lois Davis, 8th grade from East Windsor, took home two awards, The Innovation in Medical Technology Award, presented by Danaher, and the Best Engineering Award, presented by Maxim Integrated. Her invention, CPR Smart Gloves, “is a pair of gloves that aids in the training of CPR,” she explains. “The right-hand glove indicates to the user when the correct amount of pressure is applied during CPR. The left-hand glove cues the user to follow the correct rhythm of 100-120 beats per minute via LEDs and a buzzer.” VIDEO

Siddhant Bhardwaj, 9th grade from Cheshire, won the Connectivity Award, presented by Raytheon Technologies, for Object Detection Universal System (O.D.U.S.) an Aid for the Visually Impaired. “My invention is a wearable device to aid the visually impaired community in their safety of movement, reducing or eliminating the need for a cane and additional assistance using sensor-based technology and easy to understand and user-friendly alerts,” he explains. “The hat, having four ultrasonic sensors, covering all directions for a 360-degree protection system, gives the user protection while they are moving around. The wearer will receive alerts that they can understand easily, a spoken voice, which states the direction and how far away an object is.” VIDEO

Nihitha Kothapalli, 10th grade from Milford, won 2nd place in her grade category for Sober AI. “My invention provides an involuntary and automatic sobriety test for the user,” she says. “It does this by scanning their pupils to test whether or not they’re drunk, using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Based on the pupil diameter and constriction rate, the device will stop the car and alert the user’s phone; along with their family and friends.” VIDEO

Rachna Vipparla, 11th grade from Milford, won 1st place in her grade category for her invention Viru-Cleanse. “Before COVID-19 swept the world in the form of a global pandemic it was common for the general population to not take precautionary disincentive measures. However, it is clear now, as the world is adapting to new challenges, it is necessary for us to be more cautious,” she says. “Viru-Cleanse is the cohesive use of a Hypochlorous solution as a mist in irrigation systems. With its multiple applications and adjustable models, my invention can be used in areas such as distribution centers, airports, shipping centers, trucking stations, schools and even homes.” VIDEO

Meghana Cheela, 11th grade from Milford, took 3rd place in her grade category for Lymph-flow, an invention that solves the issue of needing another person to aid in performing lymphatic massage effectively to soothe pain involving blockage of the lymph nodes. “Lymph-flow provides immediate relief to discomfort that may be occurring in the arms or legs due to lymphedema,” she explains. “The purpose of my invention is to provide a tool that provides more immediate relief and treatment for patients who are affected by lymphedema. Often, lymphedema can cause a patient’s arm to become stiff or can cause pain in the arms and legs. This invention can provide immediate relief in areas like the arms or legs and, through repeated use, treat the area that has been affected.” VIDEO

Gianna Guzzo, 12th grade from Suffield, won the Aerospace Award, presented by Raytheon Technologies, and 3rd place in her grade category for Vital Guard. “My invention protects children in vehicles by monitoring a child’s vital signs as well as the conditions of a vehicle to notify parents if any risks are present via a mobile app,” she says. “The system tracks heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, relative humidity, and UV Index. A Bluetooth diagnostic interface reminds the user whenever the emission is turned off to take their child out of the vehicle.” VIDEO

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