SHELTON - From hands-free mixers to fancy pencils, rolling snow shovels to a device to clean sand off your feet, Sunnyside School students showed off their inventive side Wednesday, March 4.

Dozens of fourth graders, under the guidance of teachers Allissa Dempsey and Margie Everett, put their creations on display for the celebrity judges, with Adrian Paris’ Porto-Tush 3000 earning the top prize. Paris will now take his invention to the University of Connecticut for a statewide competition in May.

Honorable mention went to Jackson Betts’ Sand Solutions, Anaia Taylor’s Sparkle Butter and Savana Ostrosky’s Relax-A-Scratch.

“These projects help students with critical thinking,” said Dempsey.

Dempsey said the fourth graders begin forming ideas early in the school year. The students attend a “Take-a-Part” workshop, then focus on creating an invention that can solve a problem at home or in the world. The students create an invention log, in which they detail their invention from start to finish, including all the problems they faced in the design and construction process and how they dealt with those issues.

“They start with an idea and see it through to the finish,” said Dempsey.

And the finish includes the public presentation. On Wednesday, students presented their inventions to the judges, including new interim school Superintendent Beth Smith, Perry Hill School Principal Lorraine Williams and Long Hill School Principal Andrea D’Aiuto.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com