West Madison Elementary School holds Invention Convention to teach students how to become inventors

MADISON, Ala. - West Madison Elementary School has been brainstorming with their fourth and fifth-grade students since the beginning of the school year on what problems the students have.

On Tuesday, they showcased how they were going to fix one of their problems.

The school's gifted specialist Wendy Tibbs said these students have been learning how to become inventors.

"In the fall we started looking for problems, things that bugged us, and they kept them in a 'bug trap.' So, this semester they had to decide on one of those problems that they felt like they could solve," said Tibbs.

Each of the students has made inventions to fix a problem they have; one student made a car that can bring him snacks, another student made a small alarm clock that can fit inside her pillowcase, and one made a hole in her shoes so her feet won't get hot.

Tibbs said the point of this is to learn the steps it takes to invent something and learn how to be a problem solver when things don't go as planned.

"So, using the design process, they thought of a solution. Then they worked through the process of building it-and of course, nothing goes as planned. So they understood then that there's a circular pattern to the design process," said Tibbs.

Tibbs's goal is for the students to understand that anybody can be an inventor, and to learn that when something doesn't work the first time, try again!

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