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July 2, 2022

Local young inventors get state recognition

WATSONVILLE—A group of young inventors who earned accolades in local and state competitions last year visited the state capital Monday, where they met with lawmakers and showed off their winning creations.

The visit to Sacramento was in advance of Kid Inventors Day on Jan. 17. It was a way to highlight invention education for the state’s assembly members and senators, said Brenda Payne, head of the California Invention Convention. 

Payne said the process of invention – tackling a real-world problem by creating a unique solution – meshes perfectly with new teaching curricula such as Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core math.

“Now more than ever, we need to prepare students to be creative problem-solvers,” she said. “In fact, we have a duty to encourage our students to think differently. As a result of the program, we see students tackling some of the most important issues of our day, and the future.”

The kids’ inventions include a watch for deaf people that transcribes people’s spoken words into text, an environmentally friendly way to heat a car windshield, an app that helps people with Parkinson’s disease walk and a plastic-free alternative Easter egg.

The Sacramento trip of 23 California students included six from Watsonville area schools and seven from other parts of Santa Cruz County. 

They got a tour of the Capitol before they met with their state Assembly members and Senators to talk about their inventions.

Later, Assemblymember Mark Stone and several other lawmakers presented them a legislative resolution commending the California Invention Convention for its efforts in invention education, Payne said.

Each student then got their own certificate.

“It was an extraordinary day for all who attended,” Payne said.

The students competed at the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. in May, after winning at the state-level California Invention Convention in San Jose in June and local ones at their own schools.


To get involved or learn more about the California Invention Convention, visit or email [email protected]

Local Inventors

Mia Vorhees, 7th grade, Watsonville: The Earthly Egg

Maya Calfee, 5th grade Watsonville: B-Ball Holder

Hector Lopez, 7th grade, Watsonville: Anti-Spill Coffee Cup

Scarlet Gleitsman Miller, 7th grade, Watsonville: Predator Away

Eila Nelson, 7th grade, Watsonville: Reach A Sink

Javier De Los Santos, 6th grade, Watsonville: Knitzy 3000

Charles Janes, 4th grade, Santa Cruz: LEGO Sorter of 2019

Gabriella Gonzalez-Lopez, 7th grade, Soquel: Furr Mama Simulator

Kyle Hawes and Ryder Walding, 6th grade, Capitola: Windshield Warmer

Jonah Geyer, 6th grade, Santa Cruz: Collapse-o-Cane

Oliver Willet, 6th grade, Santa Cruz: Pencil Grips

Aden Mead, 7th grade, Scotts Valley: PTS

Hailey Ritter, 5th grade, Santa Cruz: Happy Feeter


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