Saturday, April 13, 2002

Gadgets can even capture gerbils

Kids' inventions also tackle laundry, chores

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

        MASON — After studying simple machines for nearly four weeks, fourth-graders in Lisa Grawe and Doug Parrott's Western Row Elementary School classes were given a not-so-simple task: create somethingthat makes a job easier at home or school.

[photo] Madison Gilmore, 10, shows how her fast-food dog feeder works. Other fourth-graders on Friday displayed their own time-saving inventions at Western Row Elementary.
(Michael Snyder photo)
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        The students could use pulleys, levers, inclined planes, wedges, screws, or a wheel/axle combination in their creations. Friday, they explained their projects to parents and to other classes during the annual Great Invention Convention.

        “By doing this, they can see how science applies to their life,” Ms. Grawe said. "They've gotten quite creative.”

        Among the projects were gadgets to make a bed, feed dogs, sort laundry,water plants,catch gerbils and move dishes from the table to counter.

        Ten-year-old Madison Gilmore called her invention M&T's Fast Food for Dogs. Using a pulley, inclined plane and screw, she devised a box into which dry dog food was placed. Pulling on a rope, she lifted a door that allowed the dog food to slide down a ramp into her dog, Thunder's, dish. It took about two weeks to build.

        “My dad helped me and showed me how to cut the wood,” Madison said. “The hardest part was painting. I had to put on four coats of paint.”

        Jason Kimm, 10, used wood, plastic piping, screws, yard sticks, tinker toys and a used conveyor belt to make The Dish Duty Deductor. One end fits at the end of the table and the other on the counter. Dishes are placed on the conveyor belt. By hand cranking it, the dishes are moved to the counter. It took five hours to complete.

        “I had to redo it and add bolts because it wouldn't turn the first time,” Jason said. “Now, it does what I want it to do.”


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