Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Inventor Stories and Other Resources

CIC students become first-time inventors by participating in our program and go on to gain recognition at our events. But many go on beyond the program to further develop their ideas, seek patents, become young entrepreneurs, and realize their untapped potential as the future problem-solvers of our world. Below are a few of our inventors stories.

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Mallory Kievman translated her invention convention experience into a real world solution one summer when she had the hiccups constantly in the summer of 7th grade. She refused to accept that there was nothing she could do about it, so Mallory spent hundreds of hours researching both the physiology of hiccups and the folk remedies that persisted (despite their general ineffectiveness.) After weeks of trial and error (and continued hiccupping), Mallory identified three ingredients and approaches that worked to soothe her own hiccups: apple cider vinegar, sugar and sucking a lollipop. Mallory combined all three and coined her invention the "Hiccupop." This won her multiple awards at the 2013 Invention Convention and launched a successful business: It turns out thousands of chemotherapy patients have the same problem. Now, she has a factory kicking out her pops in volume for Chemotherapy patients worldwide.

The idea for "Message Mask" came to Lucca Riccio when he visited his grandmother in the emergency room in March 2016, not long before she died, and listened as she struggled to communicate through her oxygen mask. Lucca's uncle was out of state and trying to speak to her over the phone, but he could not understand her through the mask.

This had a very personal effect on Lucca, and the idea for the message Mask was born. The Message Mask (now called Tube Talker) is a modified oxygen mask with a noise-cancelling microphone attached to the mouthpiece. The microphone can connect to a speaker via Bluetooth, allowing the patient to be hard loudly and clearly. Lucca has filed for patent protection and plans to commercialize the "Message Mask" later this year. He hopes to replace every hospital and personal oxygen mask with his device. "Even aside from the awards, it has been a really good experience to know that I could be helping a whole bunch of people," Lucca said.

Zoe Eggleston participated in the Invention Convention in 2009 as an 8th grade student, with her invention to measure the thickness of ice. In 2012, Zoe was granted a patent, as well as a scholarship to study mechanical engineering at Worchester Polytechnic Institute.

As an eighth-grader at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School in Wallingford in 2017, Audrey Larson won second place in the grade 7-8 division for her idea to help eliminate carbon dioxide emissions from cars. Her project calls for panels of plants to be placed above roadways. "As the carbon dioxide rises up from the car, it goes to the vent of plants and gets filtered out by the natural photosynthesis process and gets turned back into oxygen," Larson said. "According to my calculations, 78 million tons of carbon dioxide would be removed per year if this covered every major roadway."

Larson received the Cantor Colburn Patent Award, which is given to an "inventor whose invention is most ingenious and unique and likely to have a high success of being awarded a patent." For this award, attorneys at Cantor Colburn will work with Audrey, walking her through the entire process to apply for, and hopefully be granted, a patent.

As an eight-grade student, natural born inventor Gabriel (Gabe) Mesa was recognized for his Graphene Enhanced Piezoeletric Generator for Environmental Energy Conservation. This invention uses graphene, to develop an environmentally safe battery that generates electrical energy through mechanical instead of chemical means. "This battery can be used to power cell phones, homes, or communities," Mesa explained. When the battery is no longer needed, it can also be composted. Gabe has been participating in the Connecticut Invention Convention since the third grade. His favorite invention helped sufferers of sleep apnea. This combined a magnetic collar with an under tongue piercing, that a sleep apnea sufferer wears at night to move their jaw slightly forward keeping their tongue from falling to the back of their throat.