Dix is Grand Inventor

By Joyell Nevins

May 11, 2014

TIPP CITY - Mackenzie Dix, fifth grader at L.T. Ball Intermediate, brought home the grand prize in the Just Think! 2014 Invention Convention Southwest Regional Finals.

Aspiring inventors in grades kindergarten through eight brought their solutions to everyday problems to the competition presented by Time Warner Cable Connect a Million Minds on Saturday, April 26 at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Dix was one of 28 L.T. students who competed. Davis Featherstone, Kathryn Schinaman, Katie Hemmelgarn, Emma Meehling, Alicia Miller and Kristina Withem of L.T. Ball also won college scholarships.

Dix won a $2,500 scholarship for her invention “Fresh Shoot.” Her invention redesigned the bag in the cereal box, making it easier to open and giving it way to stay closed to keep cereal fresh.

Fourth grader Featherstone recieved a $500 scholarship for his invention “Safe Landing,” a compact pad that when thrown out a window inflates to provide a safe landing in emergencies.

Schinaman is a fifth grader and won a $500 scholarship for her invention “Left-Right Lights.” It teaches young children to put their shoes on the correct feet.

Other first-place grade winners were:

Grade 2, Anthony Mascola, Rushmore/Studebaker, Huber Heights City School, for his invention, Zoom Wipe, which makes cleaning fun for kids.

Grade 3, Evan Bundersen, Fairborn City Primary School, Fairborn City, for Hy-Riserz, an invention for Lego builders.

Grade 6, Lexie Kimberlin, ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) for her invention, the Spillow, a waterproof pillow for sleepers who drool.

Grade 7, Isabelle Caraway, Northmont Middle School, Clayton, for the Perfect Pump, a wider and longer dispenser for liquid soap, shampoo, paint, etc.

Grade 8, Grace Counts, Northmont Middle School, Clayton, for Hang in There Hair Bow, that holds a hair bow in place when dancing, cheerleading, etc.

Second place awards were given in each grade as well as ten Superior Awards; a Kid’s Choice award and three Ohio Soybean Council Foundation’s specialty award, “Beyond the Bean for Excellence in Agricultural Innovation” worth $250, $500 and $1,000.

The Teacher of Excellence award was given to Erica Brickey of Troy City Schools who was nominated by peers and parents for her outstanding work and positive attitude while serving 60, gifted-identified, fourth and fifth graders from six elementary schools in the district. She received a $500 Staples gift card for her classroom’s technology needs, as well as a pizza party and Lazer Kraze passes for all of her students.

Other Tipp City students that competed in the regional competition were:

• Mia Larned – Grocery Bag Belt

• Anne Lyons – Clever Kitty

• John & Elizabeth Rogers – The Hot Wrist

• Paige Heitkamp – Heit’s

• Ben Brunswick – Upside Down Bottle Holder

• Alicia Miller – Grocery Mark-It

• Ashlyn Tarzinski – No-Odor Bag

• Emma Meehling – Heated Dog Booties

• Kristina Withem – Braille Wallet

• Zoey Maggard – Teacher’s PET (Portable Emergency Tag)

• Kayla Kendall – Blade Aid

• Josh & Samantha Dahle – Corner Safety System

• Jake Smith – Hot Stix Bat Warmer

• Christian Raubenstine – The Food Burner

• Kasey Gentry – Lock Down Door

• Emma McCormick – Pick up Packs

• Jacob Goldschmidt – Air Annihilator

• Trent Dowell – T Bath

• Kaylee Eisert – Double Bike Light

• Jade Smith – Gummy Bear Aspirin

• Samantha Thieman – Walker Safety Strap

• Katie Hemmelgarn – K’s Super Soaker

• Drew Bibby – “Beam”ore Energy

The Invention Convention program challenges students to identify a problem, brainstorm solutions and field-test their prototype inventions. The best inventors then move on to regional finals to compete for continuing education scholarships. Ohio students received more than $650,000 in continuing education scholarships since the competition began back in 1993. The Convention is operated in 74 school districts statewide, and plans to have 100 districts participate in 2015.

According to Executive Director Veronica Lynagh, Invention Convention envisions a day when every child in Ohio has the chance to follow their natural curiosity, invent creative solutions to problems and be inspired to achieve their highest level of personal accomplishment. Through these efforts, Ohio’s future will be brighter and its workforce more capable and productive. The Invention Convention is presented by Time Warner Cable Connect a Million Minds with supporting partner, College Advantage 529, and additional industry innovation Sponsors: AEP Ohio, Honda, Ohio Soybean Council Foundation and SWACO.

Information on the Invention Convention and how school districts can get involved is available at