Young inventors compete for a spot at national competition

Arielle Levi’s Fozzio Music Healing was named the grand champion invention at her regional competition in Boise.
Fozzio Music Healing

Young creators and innovators from 25 Idaho schools are competing Saturday in Moscow to qualify for an upcoming national competition.

About 125 students from all over the state will be at the University of Idaho campus to present their creations and find out who will be moving on to the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals taking place at the Henry Ford center in June.

Curious inventors and entrepreneurs from ages 6 to 18 may create the next revolutionary medical device or — like one Boise fourth grader — help annoyed kids make parents put down their cell phones.

The futuristic Jules Verne category is about ideas that seem unthinkable today but possible in 100 or 200 years.  The winners might include Elle Sears’ invention “Hungry No More” or Jackson Knight’s “Eco Rocket” or Andrea Patterson’s “Pollution Eliminator.”

From Vision Charter School in Middleton, the inventing team of Isaac Bay, Dax Collins, Kaitlyn Jones and Carson Ouckama created a device that uses ozone light to disinfect the hard surfaces of a laptop. They designed a circuit board to run their electronics and had it 3D printed. Their invention will sit in the back of a Chromebook cart and switch on when the door closes.

Thatcher Rolph will be joining students from around the state presenting their inventions at an annual competition held at the University of Idaho. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

Ten-year-old Thatcher Rolph from Highlands Elementary in Boise is an altruist at heart. His goal is to help kids who suffer from the same affliction — distracted, technology-addicted parents. He calls his invention the “LittL Listener.”

Thatcher Rolph invented a product that will nudge parents off their cell phones. (Darren Svan/Idaho Education News)

Thatcher’s device would attach to a cell phone. And there are two triggers. The first is voice recognition: Thatcher saying something like “mom, hey mom.” The second is facial recognition: his mom staring at her phone screen.

Once triggered, the LittL Listener will cause the phone to vibrate so there can be no texting or Google searches. Thatcher’s mom, Jessica, has a pretty good reason for being so busy: she’s a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Lovevery, a Boise-based company that designs and produces educational toys, books and games.

“I want this to happen,” Thatcher said, because even though parents feel guilty, “they can’t help themselves.”

Serial inventor Arielle Levi, 16, of Caldwell is back again with another winning idea. Already with multiple grand championships under her belt, her Fozzio Music Healing invention is garnering a lot of attention.

Music therapy and specific frequencies have the ability to positively affect the body.

“The problem is nobody has combined the two fields into an easy to use device for consumers, because both require an extensive amount of knowledge in the field,” she explained.

“So what I’ve done is I’ve combined both of them into an automated device that allows consumers to experience the benefits of frequency healing and music healing combined.”

Arielle is driven by a desire to see her ideas developed and to help people. The idea of music healing came from her experiences as a violinist.

At the conclusion of Arielle’s violin performance, audience members would sometimes share how good they feel, which is the genesis of her invention.

“Idaho is full of talented and bright young learners and this celebration of invention gives students the opportunity to share the tangible solutions they have created to face real-world problems head-on,” said Beth Brubaker, state coordinator for Invent Idaho

The annual culminating event Saturday is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the U of I’s Integrated Research and Innovation Center. The students competing Saturday were all regional winners.

Not only does the program teach higher-order thinking skills, but it also addresses dozens of state science standards, as well as the number one technology and communication standard, creativity and innovation, Brubaker said.


Darren Svan

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan has a background in both journalism and education. Prior to working for military schools at overseas installations, he was news editor at several publications in Wyoming and Colorado. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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