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A team from Washington Middle School waits for its "Spider Trap" entry to be judged in the Rube Goldberg competition during the Mehlville School District's Invention Convention. The district's STRETCH department sponsored the annual exhibit, which recently displayed pupils' creations at Oakville Middle School. Team members, from left, are: Lindsey Miller, Marsha Wisely, Nathaniel Watts, Corissa Saller, Devin Klein and Emily Wich.

STRETCH awards pupils for creations in Mehlville's '04 Invention Convention


From an "Amazing Milk Pump" to an "E-Z Clean Gerbil Cage," the young minds in the Mehlville School District always are thinking about the next great invention.

Each year, they get the opportunity to share their ideas at the Mehlville Invention Convention, put on by the school district's STRETCH department, according to a district news release.

The 2004 Invention Convention exhibits were recently on display in the gymnasium at Oakville Middle School.

A panel of blue ribbon judges examined the entries, checked over the student's research and test-market efforts and then graded each invention.

Each invention was evaluated for overall effectiveness and also could be recommended for one of several "best of" categories.

There were six grade-level award winners, with each student receiving a $50 U.S. Savings Bond and an engraved trophy.

The grade-level winners in fourth grade were: Jessica Stack of Oakville Elementary, Jimmy Kohl of Wohlwend Elementary and Brian Throm of Oakville Elementary.

In the fifth-grade division of the Invention Convention, grade-level winners were: Luke Yamnitz of Trautwein Elementary, Christine Rich of Wohlwend Elementary and Eric Lehr of Point Elementary.

There were 14 "best of" category winners chosen, with each receiving a special button.

Each of the 10 participating schools also had a director award winner, with each student receiving a ribbon.

Also, all participants received a certificate and a large candy bar with a special "Invention Convention 2004" wrapper.

The Cliff Stratton Humanitarian Award, along with its $50 U.S. Savings Bond prize, went to Tyler Sauntry, a fourth grader who attends Point Elementary, for his invention, "Glow Fingers."

The other two major award winners, according to the distict news release, were in the Rube Goldberg competition. Super Rube Goldberg went to the Bernard Middle Team A, consisting of Alex Fleischman, Melanie Fagerlin, Luke Kamp and Mike Brandt.

Taking home Best Rube Goldberg honors was the Buerkle Middle Team L, comprised of Tiffany Benfield, Eric Kocsis, Andrew Hopwood, Paul Vitale and Callie Tinnea. Both teams will receive a pizza party and buttons.

The Invention Convention is a creation of the Mehlville School District STRETCH department.

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