Children's Invention Convention Held

"Are you tired of having to catch your mice by hand and have them escape? Then my super dooper mouse trap is for you."

That was the pitch of second-grade inventor Arun Dharan, who, along with his classmates at Balboa Magnet School, was giving an audience of relatives and friends the hard sell Friday at the class' invention convention.

The event was the culmination of six months of studying about inventors and their inventions as part of the Invent America! program developed in 1987 by the U.S. Patent Office to promote inventing in the country.

Second-grade teacher Christy Wyatt has had her students inventing since the program was first made for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

On Friday, it was creativity and capitalism at its finest.

The 20 students in Wyatt's class developed all sorts of inventions--ones to keep pets dry in rainstorms, others to keep children warm and snug in their beds and still others to make life at the dinner table a little easier.

Each student stood before a crowd of photo-snapping, hand-clapping, smiling potential consumers and gave a three-minute pitch advertising, demonstrating and explaining his or her product.

The inventor of the animal drinking fountain, a device that allows a pet to fill its bowl with water without a help from its master, even offered the audience a special price: "19.99, just for you," said Melissa Anne Martel, pointing at the audience members.

Other inventions included traveling libraries with air fresheners, hand-held musical devices, a dripless ice cream cone, a computer watch and a super mopper. There was even a toilet paper ruler to measure the amount of toilet paper used by a family, which, as inventor Julie Chong Kim noted, "comes in many beautiful colors and styles."

Loren Haley Judkowitz started the program with a jingle about her product, the emergency car seat toilet.

"If you're on the go and you gotta go, pull out your car seat toilet."


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