BEND, Ore. - Imagine a drone flying into a hurricane zone to drop urgently needed supplies, called in by a swipe on a smart phone, or a series of tethered buoys that can predict a tsunami's magnitude and send warning to researchers and affected people.
These were among the hundreds of solutions proposed by local students to survive, mitigate the impact, or harness the power of natural disasters during Inventerprise 2015, the annual science problem-solving contest sponsored by Bend Research, a division of Capsugel Dosage Form Solutions, with support from Bend-La Pine Schools and Central Oregon Community College.
More than 1,300 Central Oregon students from 38 Central Oregon schools in Grades K-12 participated in the 24th annual contest. Judges reviewed approximately 900 entries and announced the winners this week.
"We are once again amazed by the creatively, ingenuity and thoughtfulness of students in our Central Oregon community in bringing forth inventive solutions to pressing scientific problems," said Jim Nightingale, PhD, president of Bend Research. "Science education is key to our students' futures in today's global economy, and the submissions to this year's contest demonstrate their strong potential to contribute to scientific progress both here in Central Oregon and elsewhere."
This year, students were challenged to address the impact of different types of natural disasters that strike worldwide, including earthquakes, wildfires, droughts and devastating storms. Their responses ranged from survival suits to smart phone apps to water-collection devices.
A Bend Senior High School student won first place in the high-school division and will take home $1,000 for her effort. Maya Foster-Wexler, a sophomore, proposed a system of innovative storm shutters made from a durable solar power generating material, which provides energy to a home on sunny days. The shutters are also specially designed to collect runoff rainwater to supply the home's inhabitants with clean drinking water.
Summit High School senior Brodie Mead's idea was a safety device that provides heat and oxygen to avalanche victims, earning the inventor $500 for his second-place entry.
Two teams of Redmond Proficiency Academy students received runner-up prizes for their ideas to develop a geothermal power plant and tsunami shelters. Barrak Blakeley, Alexander Guyer, Coral Poppe, Shayne Bidwell, Sydnee Ferguson and Kylie McMullen will receive $50 apiece.
In the middle-school division, two students will receive grand prizes. Soren Stancliff from Obsidian Middle School outlined ideas for a lifesaving App called W.A.N.D (Warning App for Natural Disasters) in which the user uploads a blueprint of their home so the App can direct the home's inhabitants to the safest location depending on the type of disaster.
Doug Shaw from Cascade Middle School described a fire-retardant blanket that folds atop a house and can be automatically deployed in case of wildfire. Each of the winners can choose from among an Apple Watch, a mountain bike, a GoPro® camera, a tablet computer and a season pass to Mount Bachelor for his prize.
Hundreds of students in lower grades submitted entries, either individually or in teams of up to three. Several students at each grade level will receive prizes for their submissions along with an invitation to a special Science Night program held in their honor at the Bend Research laboratories in Tumalo.
Entries this year were inventive, particularly an idea for a man-made tree "planted" in the forest with electricity-dissipating roots which would act as a lightning rod, keeping lightning strikes from starting forest fires.
In this year's contest, protection from tsunamis and stormy seas got plenty of attention. There were walls, warning systems and shelters of all shapes and sizes. One kindergartener suggested a wave energy generator to make use of the stormy seas around his cottage. He made sure to mention the cottage was stocked with water, food and Scrabble to keep its residents happy.
Another creative second grader described a new design for roadways prone to closure from mud and rockslides, complete with a very detailed model. His idea was to build a deep hole under the road into which mud and rocks could fall. The hole would be cleaned out between storms without needing to close the road.
A fourth grade entrant wants to protect her home from wildfire by installing fireproof blinds that could be activated remotely. Sprinklers can also be turned on via smartphone with the option to spray water or fire retardant.
Winners at each grade level, and the schools they attend, are listed below. Additional information can be found at http://inventerprise.bendresearch.com.
2015 Bend Research Inventerprise Winners
Inventerprise 2015 Winners
Emily Clawson– Buckingham Elementary
Wade Arnold, Hunter Askew – Highland Magnet at Kenwood
Solomon Towne – Ponderosa Elementary
Matthew Curtis, Brady Smith – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Rising Lawless, Mabel Londborg, Marika Sowerby – Westside Village Magnet School
Skye Knox – Bear Creek Elementary
Ivy Campbell – Cascades Academy
Amelia Forkel, Grace Simmons – High Lakes Elementary
William Stancliff, Finn Stancliff – John Tuck Elementary
Scotty Anderson, Christian Dorman, Stevie Hall, Adalynn Rhyne, Devon Schwarz – Morning Star Christian School
Gavin Hunt, J.T. Reeves, Gianni Stark – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Evie Arambula – Westside Village Magnet School
Ellie Norris, Peyton Zimmerman – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Gretchen Deines, Janee Clevinger, Adrionna Lang, Annika Stimac, Aiden Carpenter – St. Thomas Academy
Nash Bernahl – Westside Village Magnet School
Luke Pokorny – William E. Miller Elementary
Ainslie Knox – Bear Creek Elementary
Johnathan Tracy – Buckingham Elementary
Caroline Hicks – Cascades Academy
Ethan Lowe – Highland Magnet at Kenwood
Caroline Covlin, Rosie Moseley – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Brady Muilenburg – St. Thomas Academy
Jonathan Mathis, Cash Wellman, Ukiah Monson, Jazmyn Wheat, Max Perry, McKenzie Kirk, Elijah Coker, Alexander Davis – Tom McCall Elementary
Dennis Drury, Quincy Bernahl, William Mowry – Westside Village Magnet School
Luke Davis – Buckingham Elementary
Fiona Callaghan, Riley Kerkmann – Cascades Academy
Lucy Stancliff – John Tuck Elementary
Mason Spreier, Jonathan Foreman, Kush Goyal, Kaelyn Medina – Juniper Elementary
Meadyn Ybarra, Keala Dickson, Trey Irwin, Dylan Dougall, Wyatt Yourston, Kaytlin Frazee, Christopher Andrews, Silvia Fink, Kamryn Osborne, Riya Girard, Reed Bunting – Tom McCall Elementary
Neve Gerard – Tumalo Community School
Maxwell Bock, Izaak Cook, Barrett Umbarger, Seth Rozek, Emily Krehbiel, Bean Loomis – Westside Village Magnet School
2015 Bend Research Inventerprise Winners
Axel Johnson, Adelyn Malone, Natalie Reveles – High Lakes Elementary
Arthur Roth, Haley Turrell, Penny Yost, Andrew Skidmore, Holiday Barnes, Axel Hovorka, Connor Powell – Juniper Elementary
Mercedes Dundom, Grace Gast, Emily O'Gorman-Howe – MA Lynch Elementary
Ava Lawson, Dylan Malaer – Ponderosa Elementary
Wyatt Lawson, Aaron Maloney, David Roe – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Riley Brown, Tucker Neville, Brandon Bower, Devon Owens – Vern Patrick Elementary
Nick Jacobsen, Caleb Krause, Ty Bueker, Max Joseph – Westside Village Magnet School
India Slodki - Cascade Middle School
Gavyn Helmy, Hamish Reed, Madison Kerkmann, Sam Renton – Cascades Academy
Stephanie Alvarado, Sabrina Belvoir, Tegan Macy – Culver Middle School
Kate Hardy – Elton Gregory Middle School
Teaghan Knox - Homeschool
Simon Grube, Joe Sortor, Noah Clement, Brady Scarborough, Jackson Bailey, Hayden Klein, Emma Ausfahl, Kira Chapman, Piper Knight, Lavyn King, Jack Cauble, Jack Scanland, Matthew Tennis– Pacific Crest Middle School
Patrick Covlin, Anne Marie Covlin, Jason Thompson, Alex Zuniga, Tristan Catanzaro, Darcy Hays, Sophie O'Shei, Alison Bonn, Michaela Lorenz, Martha Schwarz – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School
Anya Rozek, Connor Bellusci – Westside Village Magnet School
Middle School Grand Prize
Soren Stancliff – Obsidian Middle School
Doug Shaw – Cascade Middle School
High School First Place: Maya Foster-Wexler – Bend Senior High School
Second Place: Brodie Mead – Summit High School
Honorable Mention: Barrak Blakeley, Alexander Guyer, Coral Poppe, Shayne Bidwell, Sydnee Ferguson, Kylie McMullen – Redmond Proficiency Academy