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Standout students honored at Invention Convention nationals

| June 22, 2023 1:00 AM

Augustus Brown and Allison McCormick were recognized for outstanding ingenuity at the seventh annual Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals in Dearborn, Mich.

They were among about 300 award-winning K-12 inventors from across the nation celebrated June 9 at an awards ceremony. More than 80 awards, including cash prizes, trophies, medals and patent applications were handed out.

Augustus, a sixth grader from Post Falls, won the Aerospace Award for his invention, dubbed Stellatener.

“Stellatener is a space-debris collection system that consists of three parts,” Augustus said. “The first part is a large debris-sorting satellite, with a compactor and debris-sorting system. The second part is a group of smaller collection satellites, equipped with harpoons, nets and electromagnets that would collect and return debris to the sorting satellite. The third part are pods that are filled with compacted space junk and sent, in the case of hazardous waste, into the atmosphere to burn up, or, for recycling, to the moon. The garbage could then be used at a later date to build future moon bases, spacecraft or fuel. This solves the problem of orbital debris damaging spacecraft, hindering mankind's space-travel abilities in the future.”

Allison, a fifth grader from Coeur d’Alene, won the Agriculture and Food Industry Award and was second in her grade category for her invention, Apple Iris.

“I love apples, but don't love the way they get stuck in my apple slicer if the apple is too big — and I am too scared to use a knife” she said. “My invention is an adjustable apple slicer. So if you are cutting an apple and you notice that it is going to be too big for your slicer, then you can just pull it to make it bigger. Now you can cut any size apple easily.”

“The passion, innovative spirit and drive to create a more-inclusive, connected and sustainable future is a hallmark of Invention Convention students,” Raytheon executive Randy Bumps said. “We believe the experience and community students gain through the Invention Convention program today will set them on a path to becoming the world-class engineers and technologists who solve tomorrow’s challenges.”

To compete in the national Invention Convention, Augustus and Allison first won regional local competitions before moving through state level to nationals in Dearborn.

More than 166,000 K-12 inventors from across the country participate in Invention Convention Worldwide programs each year.