BOE: Inventive students show off their smarts

Touch-sensitive screens have become an ever-present fact of modern life — in airports, at ATMs, at restaurants and even in some libraries. Shelton’s Kyle Young developed a rotation device that exposes such screens to ultraviolet light, disinfecting them for the next user.
Young, a junior at Shelton High School, was one of four district students to present their innovations at the March 27 Board of Education meeting. They and 10 other students from Shelton will compete in the statewide Invention Convention, scheduled for May 4.
“Screens are everywhere — and unfortunately, so are germs,” Young said. “My system would guarantee a clean surface for each user.”
Young’s Clean Screen device uses an echo sensor to determine when a customer completes his or her transaction. The screen is then rotated and momentarily exposed to ultraviolet light. This method of disinfection has been demonstrated by the National Institute of Medicine and the National Institute of Health to kill some particularly virulent strains of bacteria, ones that are more resilient than the bacteria typically found in public settings.
Fourth grader Kailey Hill was first up among the students who showcased inventions. Hill’s innovation was a specialized cushion called a Bum Bum Buddy that makes makes classroom learning more comfortable for long stretches of time — and thus can help students become more attentive to the subjects at hand.
“My chair cushion system is customizable and I specifically designed it for elementary-school students,” said Hill, who attends Sunnyside Elementary. For further comfort, there’s a built-in holder for a water bottle.
Perry Hill sixth grader Lucas Kellogg spends hours at a stretch in cold places, cheering as his brother plays hockey. In such a setting, he noticed that applause for players can be almost inaudible because spectators all wear gloves.
“People end up yelling a lot and they hurt their voices,” Kellogg said.
Kellogg developed a pair of wooden inserts called Cold Clappers that nest inside spectators’ gloves, enabling them to clap loudly without removing their gloves — or shouting.
“I tested different types of wood and plastic, and the wood makes the loudest noise,” Kellogg added.
Shelton Intermediate eighth grader Sena Ho developed an invention that tackles an especially thorny global dilemma: water purification. In third world countries people must use buckets to transport water from wells, streams and rivers to their homes. Besides being arduous, the water can be contaminated.
Ho’s invention — C the Purity — is a universal bucket lid that has a built-in ultraviolet light source. To test the invention, Ho used microscopic snails that would be the equivalent in size to bacteria. The unit did the trick.
“It is designed to fit over any standard 10-gallon bucket,” said Ho.
The other students who will participate in the Invention Convention, and their inventions, are:
• Will Zaccagnino, fourth grade, Booth Hill School, who developed a Foodie Chute to help kids and the elderly feed their dogs the proper portion of food.
• Owen Russell, fourth grade, Elizabeth Shelton School: Helping Paws Wheelchair Hammock, which assists disabled people in holding animals.
• Stephanie Sanborn, fourth grade, Long Hill School: the Duo Divider to help people sleep comfortably in the same bed.
• Michael Skeffington, fourth grade, Mohegan School: E.Z. Lights, a dispensing and storage device for Christmas lights.
• Elena Gasbarro, sixth grade, Perry Hill: The Careful Candle, a safer, more convenient candle enhancement.
• Alexander Baneat, sixth grade, Perry Hill: Clean Car Cape, which protects car seats from sweat and moisture.
• Kaitlyn Bergers, eighth grade, Shelton Intermediate: Slide to Track Band, which helps people with diabetes easily track which finger they last used to test blood sugar.
• Luke Sanborn, seventh grade, Shelton Intermediate: Eyelet Enforcer, which reinforces holes on identification cards and prevents their loss.
• David Ferrara, 12th grade, Shelton High School:Sky Sugar, a biodegradable balloon.
• Sanya Oak, ninth grade, Shelton High: The Helping Hand, a 3D-printed prosthetic hand for adults.