Last Thursday evening, Hot Springs middle schoolers hosted their first ever Hot Springs Young Innovators Night at the Tays Gym. The event showcased the hard work of middle school students who took on the project of creating and engineering a new product.
The program took students through the entire process of creating a product from research to patent applications. Students found themselves at many different points by the end of the year. Some had a single prototype they were satisfied with while others had several. Some students didn't consider their work finished, others where in the process of applying for patents.
Over 100 seventh and eighth grade students created as many products. Creations covered a wide area, incuding: agriculture, music, fashion, athletics, automotive equipment and more.
The program was overseen by middle school teacher Katie Brunsoon, who commended all of the students for their hard work, creativity and patience and the whole school worked through the new program.
Several students were recognized specifically for their work creating new products. Will Kuhl was given the Most Challenging Design award. His invention was a car door temperature regulator designed to keep car doors from freezing shut.
Faun Hansen received the Best Attitude in Project award. She created a leotard that was easier to get on, but ran into some issues while creating one of her prototypes.
The Take the Bait award was given to Braden Grill for his Sheep Detailer. He created his product over Easter break after being unsatisfied with current techniques for removing sheep tails. He currently has a patent pending on his product.
Carley Spray received the Persistence is Key award for her work creating a cover for track spikes that makes walking easier. She went through several prototypes.
The Networking award was given to Warren Russell. His invention was called the Hybrid Static Neutralizer. It's designed to remove static from clothing. He consulted his older brother, a South Dakota School of Mines mechanical engineering student for help on the project.
Ciarra Birdshead received the Helpful Hand award. She completed her final prototype of Glasses with Wipers early and helped many other students finish their projects.
The Best Perseverance award went to James Erskin. He had difficulty creating his magnetic markers but maintained a good attitude throughout the process.
Weston Watson received the Sign of Hope award. He worked on a design rather than a product. He wanted speakers but found many at the store too expensive for his budget, so he worked on perfecting a DIY speaker made from cups and a paper towel tubes. His final design cost less than $1.