Georgia Tech Hosts Young Entrepreneurs Searching for Solutions to Real-World Problems

Top 98 Teams from Across Georgia Compete at the K-12 InVenture Prize 2020 State Finals


Georgia Tech's K-12 InVenture Prize State Finals held on March 11th, 2020, featured 98 teams of student entrepreneurs from across Georgia. The competition resembles the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize. It encourages elementary, middle, and high school students to present projects that identify real-world problems and design unique solutions. The qualifying teams will now advance to the National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) to represent the state of Georgia.

Out of all the schools that participated in this year's InVenture program, over 40 students will advance to the national competition.

This year, Georgia Tech Savannah hosted the area's first Savannah Regional Competition on Thursday, January 23rd. The first place elementary, middle, and high school teams were invited to compete in the State Finals at Georgia Tech.

Before coming to Georgia Tech, student teams compete within their schools to earn a spot in the K-12 InVenture Prize State Finals. Starting as early as October, teachers mentor students throughout the invention process and reference curriculum guidelines designed by K-12 InVenture Prize teachers. Students are able to use the curriculum and teacher mentorship as inspiration for innovation as well as a way to learn from collaboration and feedback.

At the competition, students presented their projects to a panel of judges that included industry experts and Georgia Tech faculty. The projects were then evaluated based on criteria such as practicality, creativity, marketability and design-based thinking.

"Through the K-12 InVenture Prize, we are empowering teachers and students to be problem solvers in their own communities. These students represent the future of STEM, and when I see the students' projects, I always feel like the future is bright," said Roxanne Moore, Director of the K-12 InVenture Prize.

First-place winners from this year's K-12 InVenture Prize competition included team "No Mosquito Bites" from Baker Elementary School, team "Flutterbees" from Evans Middle School and team "Biodegradable Straw" from Harrison High School.

Winners from specialty awards categories included Kelly Mill Elementary in Best Overall K-2 Division, West Side Elementary for the People's Choice Award, Flowery Branch High School in Best Manufacturing, Matt Elementary school for the IronCAD Award, McIntosh High School in Health and Medical Technology, Walton High School in Sustainability and Energy, and Dunwoody Elementary in Consumer Goods. K-12 InVenture Prize winners will move on to represent Georgia in the National Invention Convention later this year.


Team: Biodegradable Straw

School: Harrison High School

Students: Bridgette Castronovo, Taylor McNeal

Teacher: Paulette Allard

Description: To serve as an alternative to polymer and paper straws, the team created a biodegradable straw by extracting cellulose pulp from corn husks to form a base and coating the base in a chitosan solution. Three different solutions and variations of blending times were tested to determine the best case for straw durability.



Team: UniPill: Revolutionizing Prescription Pill Dispensing

School: Rockdale Magent School for Science & Technology

Students: Omari Lewis, Marley Shillingford, Shivam Vohra

Teacher: Dametria Williams

Description: The UniPill is a prescription dispenser that uses a time-based code to distribute a placebo and real pills. Using 3D printing and wood-based PLA filament, the UniPill aims to curb addiction in a sustainable, innovative, and effective way.



Team: Bathletes

School: Effingham College & Career Academy

Students: Megan Zeldenrust, Gavin Gelderman, Chase Weitman

Teacher: Cecilia Zeigler

Description: The team, Bathletes, created a bath bomb that eliminates the need for ice baths for athletes.



Team: Flutterbees

School: St. Andrew's Middle School

Teacher: Andrew Nase

Description: Team Flutterbees designed a unique stress-relieving pencil topper that releases stress-relieving scents.



Team: Forget Me Not

School: St. Andrew's Middle School

Students: Liam Luther, Holden Hazel, Jacob Chu

Teacher: Maria Dixon

Description: Forget Me Not is a cushion with a pressure sensor that lays on top of a child's car seat. When activated, it measures the air temperature inside the car. It alerts the guardian when it reaches a dangerous temperature, and if it continues to increase in temperature, emergency services are then notified.



Team: Wave Guard

School: Madras Middle School

Students: Jack Whittmore

Teacher: Caren Peterson

Description: Wave Guard is a clip-on device for humans that puts out an electromagnetic field to deter sharks and stingrays.

Team: Drive Awake

School: J.C. Booth Middle School

Students: Roshan Kolachina

Teacher: Kathleen Lanman

Description: "Drive Awake" is an alert system that detects drowsiness in individuals based on their brain waves. This invention keeps the driver awake and prevents car crashes from occurring due to drowsiness.

Team: Lake Leash & Safety Stickers 

School: Independent Team

Students: Kelly McGillis, Emma Fegan

Teacher: Nancy Ernstes

Description: The team of students created icons to demonstrate a simple test for algae, so that pet owners know which algae to stay away from. The helpful phrase is, "Stick covered in paint will make your dog faint, dripping with hair, no need to care!"



Team: No Mosquito Bites

School: Baker Elementary School

Students: Hala Obediat, Zoe Zavala

Teacher: Meg Hagan

Description: No Mosquito Bites is a vitamin that you take once a day that can prevent diseases caused by mosquitos, prevents itchiness, and gives you the required daily supplements.



Team: The Pencil Purifier

School: Kedron Elementary School

Students: Susanna Griffies, Hayoung Kim, Vanessa Hausner

Teacher: Sharon Snyder

Description: The Pencil Purifier is a simple and efficient device used to sanitize pens and pencils. This invention uses two tubes filled with a sponge covered in an antibacterial solution to kill germs and prevent sickness. 



Team: Simply Spark

School: Kelly Mill Elementary

Students: Reese McCarthy, Haleigh Bagwell, Addison Colten

Teacher: Stephanie Sumner

Description: Simply Sparks is a drone-like device that will light prescribed burning safely, which will protect our forests.



Team: Bus Safety Stop

School: Kelly Mill Elementary School

Students: Aiden Kim, Sara Cate Peake, Copelyn Fedorchuk

Teacher: Laura Fedorchuk

Description: The Bus Safety Stop is an invention created to prevent students from waiting in the dark for the school bus. It is a portable platform that is illuminated, gives shelter, and keeps kids safe.



Team: Journey Packs

School: West Side Elementary School

Students: Katie Minahan, Niyah White, Nora Teague

Teacher: Mary Jo Groeneveld

Description: Journey Packs is a subscription system where customers can customize a unique box containing a variety of supplies, information, and comfort items. Made with 100% organic cotton and medical grade silicon, the Journey Pack is designed to guide girls through the taboos and uncertainties surrounding their menstrual cycles.



Team: Funnel Plus

School: Flowery Branch High School

Students: Austin Holt, Leonardo Nunez, Matthew Baker

Teacher: Harmon Tison

Description: Funnel Plus is a funnel designed with a valve system and a clip to fit on most pieces of lab glassware. The funnel is intentionally designed to include functionality that improves safety and convenience for users.



Team: P.H.S.N. Portable Headrest for Special Needs

School: Matt Elementary School

Students: Ava Lindberg, Hannah Olawepo, Grace Olawepo

Teacher: Suzanne Clark

Description: P.H.S.N. is made of PARA plastic and has a headrest made of cotton on the outside with a polyester fiberfill. The headrest keeps the child's head supported while slots on the back allow for it to be strapped to a car seat, bike trailer, or stroller.



Team: OIT Spirometer: To Save Lives of COPD Patients

School: McIntosh High School

Students: Marc Van Zyl

Teacher: Seth Bishop

Description: Marc Van Zyl's invention is an easy-to-use spirometer for elderly individuals with COPD who may struggle with unfamiliar electronics. The spirometer connects directly to the user's WiFi, reports the risk assessment, and notifies a doctor if the risk is high.



Team: Solar Genie

School: Walton High School

Students: Vikas Malepati, Edison Lee, Abhay Vittal

Teacher: Ann Baxley

Description: Solar Genie is a more accurate electronic system that uses satellite imagery to detect rooftops and find usable land in order to expand solar energy to rural areas.



Team: Aquafil

School: Dunwoody Elementary School

Students: Poorvi Roopesh, Navya Pemmana, Niyati Naveen

Teacher: Stacy Mendel

Description: The Aquafil is an all in one travel set for teeth care. It includes a toothbrush, mouthwash, dental floss, and toothpaste in a convenient, small invention.


By: Shannon Malone – CEISMC Communications

Related Media

Click on image(s) to view larger version(s)

  • K-12 InVenture Prize - First-Place High School Division Winners

For More Information Contact

Jasmine Patel
K-12 InVenture Prize Program Manager
Center for Education Integrating
Science, Mathematics, and Computing
Georgia Tech
817 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308