The Coast News Group
invention convention
Ada Harris Elementary School sent fifth-grade students Taylor Egli, Neev Rohatgi and Steel Cordato, to the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals.

Students in Invention Convention finals

CARDIFF-BY-THE-SEA — Ada Harris Elementary School in Cardiff School District sent off fifth-grade students Taylor Egli, inventor of the Super Snowboard Pole and partners Neev Rohatgi and Steel Cordato, inventors of the Porta-Heater, to the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals May 31. The trio was selected as California Invention Convention finalists.

An avid snowboarder, Taylor Egli thought of her invention during a family vacation to Mammoth after seeing several beginner snowboarders having problems getting on and off the lifts and having to unclip from their boards to standup after falling. The Super Snowboard Pole allows snowboarder some extra stability with the lifts and helps novices push their way up after a fall.  Since snowboarders need their arms for maneuvering the activity, cleverly the pole compacted and place on a snowboard boot when going down the mountains.

The Porta-Heater invented by Neev Rohatgi and Steel Cordato is a portable towel heater for heating up towels at the beach, pool, or lake. Users can place towels on the device then simply turn on the battery-operated heating mechanism inside the PVC frame.  In the research stage of their invention, the duo found that nichrome ribbon does not oxidize or burn at a high temperature and could be used in the lightweight tubes to “warm” the towels without melting the pvc pipe.

Ada Harris’ Michael Mullins and Bodhi Ferguson who invented the Lace Saver, a shoelace protection patch that keeps shoelaces from breaking while skateboarding, also received a Merit Award at the California Invention Convention.

Before making it into Nationals, the student finalists went through two rounds of judging and evaluation.  The first-round judging by members of the Ada Harris staff and community was done in March amongst inventions from the entire 5th grade at Ada Harris. This round narrowed the inventions down to 16 that went on to compete at the California Invention Convention held earlier this month.

Beginning in early January, all the fifth graders were tasked with inventing something to help solve a problem. After coming up with an idea, students were tasked with researching the market and patents to ensure their invention did not already exist. Students also built a prototype and tested the inventions. The entire process was documented using a Google slide presentation. Students also prepared “pitch videos” and display boards allowing judges evaluate their inventions.

“All of our fifth graders took their inventions to the next level this year,” said Janelle Scheftner, principal of Ada Harris Elementary School.  “We were incredibly impressed by the innovation and determination each inventor gave in solving a problem. The invention convention program provides students with experience in creativity and adaptability, a learning goal we have for each one of our students in the Cardiff School District,” Scheftner said.