Fifteen CREC Students to Compete at National Inventor Event
(Hartford, Conn.) Fifteen budding inventors from three CREC schools will travel to the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition (NICEE) in Dearborn, Michigan later this month to display their inventions. The CREC students represent Discovery Academy in Wethersfield, Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, and Montessori Training Center Northeast in Hartford. These aspiring entrepreneurs won their local, regional, and state competitions to compete against the nation’s top student inventors.
This invitation-only event will be held at the Henry Ford Museum from May 31 to June 2. NICEE is an annual celebration for young inventors and entrepreneurs in grades 3 through12 to display their critical thinking skills through inventing, innovating, and entrepreneurial activities. The goal is to inspire tomorrow’s youth by creating a national showcase for those whose efforts embody America’s inventive and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s the youth equivalent of the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.
NICEE is the marquee event of The STEMIE (STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship) Coalition. The STEMIE Coalition is a new initiative that emerged from the principles of Connecticut’s 33-year-old Invention Convention that has expanded to 20 states. It was founded to elevate K-12 invention and entrepreneurship education to a national level, share best practices, evaluate programs, and provide national data demonstrating that invention and entrepreneurship are important parts of student learning and development, and lead to future innovators.
This year, more than 17,000 Connecticut students competed in the Invention Convention. At CREC Discovery Academy alone, 160 inventors in grades two through five took part. Twenty-four students went on to the regional competition, 15 qualified for the state competition at UConn, and five are going to nationals.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that will impact the students in a powerful way,” said Clare Neseralla, theme coach at CREC Discovery Academy. “I am thrilled to have our students represent Connecticut and bring national attention to CREC schools and the amazing work we do with students.”
Discovery Academy’s student entrepreneurs are Catherine Webster, grade 4, Wethersfield; Namyanzi Edwards, grade 5, New Britain; Sydney Hartley, grade 3, South Windsor; Vaibhav Satishraj, grade 5, South Windsor; and Grace Foster, grade 3, Ellington. Among their inventions are Satishraj’s "Baby Saver," a high-tech system that warns parents that their baby is still in its car seat, and Foster’s "The Handy Helper," a hands-free umbrella/backpack.
The student inventors from Two Rivers Magnet Middle School are Dylan Mongillo, Southington; Pacey Mahar, Wethersfield; Violet Robinson, Manchester; Kaitlyn Capacea, Vernon; Amber Braga, East Hartford; Michael Shoemaker, Colchester; Rishi Mallepally, Manchester; and Catie Field, Colchester. Their inventions include Braga’s "All-in-one Dog Walker," Capacea’s "Motorized Solar Water Filter," and Shoemaker’s "Snowboard Trainer."
“I love the fact that the students can be creative problem-solvers, regardless of their ability,” said Christie Hazen, Two Rivers’ invention coordinator and judge. “The inventions are their ideas."
Representing Montessori Magnet School are Sophia Pafundi, a lower elementary student from South Windsor, and McKenna Semeraro, an upper elementary student from Cromwell.
Students and their chaperones are paying for most of their trip themselves. If you would like to donate money to help offset their expenses, please contact the schools, drop off your donation at a school’s front desk, or contact Clare Neseralla at email@example.com by May 18.
The Capitol Region Education Council was established in 1966. Working with and for its member districts, CREC has developed a wide array of cost-effective and high-quality programs and services to meet the educational needs of children and adults in the region. CREC brings nearly five decades of experience in education, regional collaboration, and operations to provide innovative strategies and products that address the changing needs of school districts and their students, corporations, non-profits, and individual professions. CREC regularly serves 36 towns in Greater Hartford, offering more than 120 programs to more than 150,000 students annually. CREC manages more than 35 facilities throughout the area, including 16 interdistrict magnet schools. More information about CREC and CREC’s award-winning schools is available at www.crec.org.