Keeping a cool head has made 11-year-old Micah Emigh a first-place winner in the 18th annual Central Ohio Invention Convention.
Micah, a Chapelfield Elementary School fifth-grader, developed the "Bicycle Brain-Eaze" because his head always became hot when he would ride his bike or scooter with his friends.
"My invention is a special ice pack you put in the top of your helmet to make sure your head doesn't get too hot," he said.
Micah said he had two ideas to relieve a hot head under a helmet.
"The first idea was to put an ice pack in my helmet, like an ice pack you put in the freezer," he said. "But that hurt. The second idea is the one I made. I've never seen anything like it in a store."
Micah first prepares dish soap that's supposed to act like a cool gel, sealing it into a pack with the help of his mother's special vacuum sealer.
After the pack freezes, he slips it into washable padding and is ready to ride.
"My mom sewed the special padding, and I made a strap out of duct tape to keep it in place," Micah said.
He said his invention could be used to help bicyclists, scooter riders, mountain climbers, roller-skaters and skateboarders.
Micah, son of Keith and Autumn Emigh, said this year marked the second time he has participated in the Invention Convention.
About 317 young inventors from the area demonstrated their solutions to everyday problems for an opportunity to win scholarships and prizes May 18 at Columbus State Community College.
The project began in 1993 in Sandusky as a way to share good news about children. Since then, many of their young inventors have been recognized nationally.
Four have been inducted into the National Gallery for America's Young Inventors. Several hold patents on their inventions, and other Invention Convention "alumni' have achieved national recognition, including national television appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Montel Williams and the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In this year's convention, the grand-prize award, a $2,500 college scholarship, went to Lara Detrick, a sixth-grader from Genoa Elementary School (Westerville school district). She invented the "The Sticky Stand."
In addition to Micah, other first-place winners who received a $500 college scholarship were:
* Second-grader Alexandra Wilkinson from Fairfield Christian Academy (Fairfield school district) for "Happy Clean."
* Third-grader Nicholas Piccioni from Arrowhead Elementary School (Olentangy school district) for "Bacteria Blaster."
* Fourth-grader Charlie Friel from Tallmadge Elementary School (Lancaster school district) for "Charlie's Protect-o-Knife Clean."
* Sixth-grader Austin Arnspiger from OHBA (Pickerington school district) for "The Stair Slide."
* The grade 7-8 first-place winner is Cole Tucker from Kilbourne Middle School (Worthington school district) for "Light Everywhere & There!"
The event's presenting sponsor is Time Warner Cable, as part of "Connect a Million Minds."
Supporting sponsors were AEP (energy category), Donatos, Honda of America, The Harry C. Moores Foundation, J.E. Grote Co., the Kroger Company, LazerKraze, LTS, Ohio Soybean Council Foundation (agriculture/SOY category), The Columbus Dispatch and ThisWeek Community News.
The scholarship provider and sponsor of Ohio Virtual Academy is CollegeAdvantage, Ohio's 529 savings plan.
Education partner is Columbus State Community College.