Westerville News & Public Opinion

Grandma's garden leads to top Invention Convention prize

Genoa student wins $2,500 scholarship

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Each spring, Lara Detrick helps her grandmother tend the flower garden in front of her grandmother's home.

This spring, she noticed that some of the plants weren't doing well, and she wanted to find a way to save them.

Her idea, dubbed the "Sticky Stand," became the top winner in this year's Invention Convention.

The Genoa Middle School sixth-grader beat 317 central Ohio student-inventors to earn the grand prize of a $2,500 college scholarship.

The Sticky Stand is made from recycled paper, coated in a sugar solution, said Lara, the daughter of Chris Detrick and Jane Ladwig-Detrick.

The idea behind the stand is that it helps keep plants upright, and as the plants are watered, the sugar solution dissolves into the water and helps feed the plants in an environmentally friendly way.

"When you water the plant, it moistens the stand, and the sugar drips down the stand, and the plant uses it like Miracle Grow," Lara said. "It saves the planet because you're recycling the paper, and it saves you money because you're not wasting money buying new plants."

Lara also created a gardening-inspired invention for last year's Invention Convention and earned a scholarship from SWACO.

She said she would like to continue to work on the Sticky Stand, either patenting the idea or marketing it.

Lara said she enjoys the problem-solving directive behind the Invention Convention, and she'll continue to participate through middle school.

"I'd like to stick with it," she said. "It's really fun, and it's just a nice way to be able to help the environment or any problems that people have today."

First place winners, receiving $500 college scholarships, this year were:

* Alexandra Wilkinson, from Fairfield Christian Academy, for the "Happy Clean;"

* Nicholas Piccioni, a third-grader from Arrowhead Elementary School in the Olentangy Local School District, for the "Bacteria Blaster," a storage solution for hockey equipment that helps to eliminate bad smells;

* Charlie Friel, a fourth-grader from Tallmadge Elementary School in the Lancaster City School District, for "Charlie's Protect-o-Knife Cleaning Sleeve," a shield to protect people from being injured while cleaning knives;

* Micah Emigh, a fifth-grader from Chapelfield Elementary School in the Gahanna-Jefferson school district, for the "Bicycle Brain-Eaze," an invention that keeps heads cool under bicycle helmets;

* Austin Arnspiger, a sixth-grader from OHBA in the Pickerington Local School District, for the "Stair Slide," which transforms stairs into a ramp; and

* Cole Tucker, from Kilbourne Middle School in the Worthington City School District, for "Light Everywhere and There!," a device that uses fiber optics to light up cities.

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