When we think of inventors, we may recall the likes of the enigmatic Nikola Tesla or Benjamin Franklin and his design for bifocal lenses. But all great inventors must start somewhere and on Thursday, January 31, the Shining Tides Preschool hosted its annual Invention Convention, featuring the creations of some of its younger members.
The program begins with some lessons on simple machines, such as pulleys, levers, and inclined planes. From there, the kids are encouraged to bring in things from around the house they can use to construct their own machines.
“They’ll bring anything from old phones, computers, clocks,” said childcare director Tricia Weaver. “Then, they have two ‘take apart’ days where they open up what they brought and take out what’s inside.”
After that, the kids, whose ages range from two years and nine months up to five years old, get to survey the internal components of the items they brought. Then it’s up to them to use their imaginations to create their inventions. The kids even start the process by drawing blueprints of their designs.
The Invention Convention is their night to show off their machines for their parents and friends.
“They get to stand up and present [their inventions]. It gives them self-confidence to get up in front of people and talk about what they made,” said Weaver.
There were about ten inventions presented at the convention. Among them were a bed-making machine, magnetic crane, and a cake machine.
“I made a mermaid machine,” said four year-old Nora during her presentation. “And it makes sparkles.”
Emma Costa, who is also four, made a rainbow machine.
“Rainbows are my favorite,” she said after the presentations were done. According to her parents, she’s always been one to take things apart.
“Ever since she was a baby, she always liked seeing what’s inside and putting it back together,” said her mother Kari.
“She’s been very excited to show us what she made,” said Matt, her father.
Though she is young, Emma’s parents see a curious and bright mind and they want to keep encouraging her to pursue what interests her the most.
“It teaches them how to use different things in order to be creative and she loves learning how things work,” he said.
By Eric Tripoli