Some Westerville City School District middle schoolers are expected to compete at the Ohio Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Competition in July after placing in the top five at the local level.

Sponsored by the Gifted Education and Science Departments, the ninth annual Westerville Middle School Invention Convention held last month involved students competing at the building level by setting up displays, demonstrating prototypes and sharing presentations.

Students placing first through fifth are invited to represent the district at the Ohio Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Competition, which will be held July 29 this year on the grounds of the Ohio State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave.

Debbie Pellington, gifted coordinator at Heritage, said this was one of the best year's Westerville has had with the inventions.

"I was proud of everyone," she said.

Heritage Middle School's sixth-grade students swept their school's Invention Convention, with Olivia Sanabria and Trinity Cochran coming in first; Adyson Parker, second; Hailey Tessman and Anna Spitale, third; Thuraya Hamed, fourth; and Zach Rogers and Jack Monahan, fifth.

Trinity Cochran, 12, said her and Sanabria's first-place invention is called the Carbrella.

"We made it for opening the car door when it's raining so rain doesn't get on you when you open your umbrella," she said. "It has been pretty rainy in Ohio. When we didn't want to be soaked, we thought about how to keep water from getting on us."

Sanabria, 11, said the pair originally thought about making their invention out of tarp and wire but that was cost prohibitive.

"We constructed the umbrella into triangle shapes," she said. "Our prototype is connected to the car by magnets. When you open the car door, it pops open. When you close your door, it retracts into our car as an optional feature."

At most, Sanabria said, the cost to make their invention was $10 to $15.

"In July, we'll compete at the Ohio State Fair," she said. "It sounds fun. We'll present in front of a bunch of people."

Pellington said their invention is very clever.

At Blendon Middle School, Devon Ford placed first; Tyler Zwick was second; Megan Hamlin and Madison Banks were third; Donovan Varney and Zoey Ward came in fourth; and Carter Imertreijs and Miles Wilke took the fifth-place spot. All are eighth-graders.

Sixth-grade winners at Walnut Springs were Zach Ottersbach, first; Hope Johnson and Jane Gruber, second; Rowan Kappes, third; Mia Eisma and Maddie Bradshaw, fourth; and Max Iquina, fifth.

The students were judged by a panel ofeducators, administrators and community members. They're eligible to compete for prizes and scholarship money at the State Convention.

At the state level, students could advance to the 2019 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo, which will take place at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.

Invention League is a program aligned with the STEMIE Coalition and the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla