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Classroom Voices

Student Voices: From cutlery to biotech — meet the young inventors building a new future

July 21, 2022

The city where Henry Ford built his famous moving assembly line, ushering in the era of mass production, hosted a new generation of inventors earlier this summer. Young inventors from kindergarten through 12th grade showcased their inventions and competed for prizes in Dearborn, Michigan, at the 7th annual gathering of Invention Convention.

In the younger age divisions, featuring some students just barely old enough to read, competitors showcased a precocious talent for engineering and design. In the high school division, a number of teenagers presented patent-worthy products and legitimate contributions to science and the global community.

PBS NewsHour Classroom interns Leo Kamin and Evelyn Chi sat down with a number of these young inventors to discuss their inventions and the invention process.

Class activity

Break your class into small groups and have each group watch each video. Afterwards, have the groups report back on: who the inventor(s) was/were, what the invention was, how it worked, what problem they’re trying to solve, and what you would tweak about their invention to make it better.


Sonia Patel, 10th grade

Sonia is from Florida. At Nationals, she won the 10th grade division and received the “Make the World” Award for her invention, Silicone Eye Applanation Model (S. E. A. M.). She earned a spot at Globals this year.

Vera and Jude Wilder, 4th and 1st grade

This sibling duo is from Ohio. They competed at Nationals with their product, Kidz Kutlery.

Aum Dhruv and Nicholas Harty, 11th grade

Hailing from Florida, Aum and Nicholas won the 11th grade division and received the
“Environmental and Social Impact” Award for their product, VisionBound, which identifies diabetic retinopathy. They will go on to compete at Globals this year.

Eric Jiang, Patrick McNaughton, Raymond Pelletier, Andrew Li, 8th grade

This team from Pennsylvania created a digital hall pass model that took first place in their state competition.

Lino Marrero, 9th grade

Lino is from Texas. He has competed at Invention Convention nationals and was a finalist for Time Kid of the Year in 2022.

Shubham Maiti and Pranesh Shivaraj, 5th grade

This inventor duo from Novi, Michigan created the Bullet-proof Safety System, a classroom defense system to protect students and teachers against school shooters.

Arianna Anderson, 11th grade

Arianna is a student reporter for the Invention Convention and previous inventor from East Hartford, Connecticut. She speaks about her path to becoming a kid reporter and the importance of invention education.


This article was written by Leo Kamin and Evelyn Chi, sophomores at Amherst College and interns at PBS NewsHour Classroom, with editing by Victoria Pasquantonio.

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