BATAVIA — The Multi-Use Dog Bottle, the Cook Dog Coat and the Softball Mat Bag — these are among the inventions pairs of St. Joseph Regional School students will be talking about when they’re in Buffalo Sunday.
The students will join their peers at the Western New York Invention Convention (WNYIC) 2022 Inventor Showcase and Hybrid Awards Ceremony at 10 am at the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Sixty-six second-through eighth-grade students representing 16 schools statewide are participating in the competition. Top grade group winners will be invited to participate in the 7th Annual Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention US Nationals taking place from May 31 to June 3 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
The St. Joseph students who paired up to create inventions were fourth-graders Adam Laska and Daniel Sutherland. The other pairs are fifth-graders: Chelsea Fitch and Maisie Yunker, Olivia Bezon and Avi Hughson, Summer Campopiano and Peyton Ferrando, Madelyn Casey and Harper Ferris. Not all of them will be able to go to Sunday’s event but the ones who can’t make it will have a partner to present on behalf of the pair.
Avi Hughson and Olivia Bezon said they invented a multi-use dog bottle, putting a couple of months of work into the assignment. Both students have two dogs.
“We both love our animals and we took them on walks, so they didn’t have access to water or food in case they got dehydrated,” Olivia said. Their way to help their pets was with the dog bottle.
Avi and Olivia said they are looking forward to presenting their invention Sunday.
“I’m not nervous,” Avi said. Her fellow inventor, Olivia, admitted she was “kind of nervous.”
“We practiced a lot before our video and also during our video we had to practice…” Avi said.
The two students had other inventions in mind, but, Avi said, but the multi-use dog bottle stuck with them.
“We obviously both have pets that we love walking all the time, as well as hiking, so we wanted to create something that could bring food and water, portably, to wherever we go,” she said.
Maisie Yunker and Chelsea Fitch also invented something to help dogs — the cool dog coat.
“Basically, what you do is, there’s a zipper in the coat and we made three different cups that are small, medium and large, and you pour a certain amount of ice inside the coat, and then you zip it up,” Chelsea said . “We learned, from our research, that tin foil keeps ice cold, so we layered the inside in tin foil and then put another two layers of felt so it’s more comfortable on the dogs than just tin foil,” they said.
Chelsea said all you have to do is pour the ice in, wait a little while and take the coat off the dog.
Explaining how they got to this point in the process, Maisie said each of them has a cat.
“We basically first started off with a heated cat coat, because our cats get really cold in the winter, but then we decided to do a cooling dog coat because that’s more of a problem,” Maisie said. “Chelsea used to have two dogs and I have one.”
Chelsea said she was excited and a bit terrified to speak this Sunday about their invention.
“Our teacher, Mrs. Paserk, she said, that there might be a lot of people there and that’s a lot of competition,” Chelsea said. Maisie agreed.
Inventors of the softball mat bag were Harper Ferris and Madelyn Casey.
“We both do softball and our coaches have trouble carrying all of our equipment around the field,” Madelyn said. “It takes half of our practice time up from carrying it and it gets really tiring. Making it was just an easier way to get your equipment around the field.”
The fifth-graders said most of the equipment they use fits into the softball mat bag.
“It took us about a month and a half to make. There was a bit of trial and error,’ Harper said. “We want to add more storage, but that was very difficult.”
As to Sunday’s competition, Harper says she’s a good public speaker, but won’t be able to go to Buffalo for it.
Madelyn said, “I’m pretty good with public speaking. It’s just that, I feel like, at the start of it, I get pretty nervous and then, as I keep going, I get a lot calmer. I’m pretty excited for the judging and all that stuff.”