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Convention Showcases Creative Thinking Among Connecticut Schoolchildren (Released: 3/14/00)

Office of University Communications

STORRS, Conn. -- Student inventors from schools throughout the state will present their creations during the 17th annual Connecticut Invention Convention to be held at the University of Connecticut on Saturday, April 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in The Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The convention is hosted by the University's School of Engineering.

This statewide program is intended to encourage creativity and innovation among students in grades K-12. Local invention competitions are held at 110 schools in Connecticut during late fall and winter, with an estimated 7,000 student inventors participating. Winners proceed to the statewide convention. About 600 youthful competitors are expected to attend, along with parents, teachers, judges and sponsors.

Michael J. Cheshire, chairman and CEO of Gerber Scientific in South Windsor, will be the keynote speaker, kicking off the convention at 9:30 a.m. Following the opening ceremonies, students will showcase their inventions before teams of judges. During this period, non-exhibitors are invited

to investigate a series of working exhibits staffed by UConn engineering faculty demonstrating diverse engineering applications.

This year for the first time, the convention will include an information session for teachers, administrators and guidance counselors. The session will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Castleman Building, adjacent to the Student Union, and will include a complimentary lunch.

Awards will be presented in the afternoon, following a talk by Richard Larsen, a senior scientist at Northeast Utilities, who will discuss applying innovation and invention to environmental preservation.

The non-profit Connecticut Invention Convention program is run by volunteers and underwritten by grants and in-kind support from the community, educational institutions, businesses and charitable organizations. In addition to UConn's School of Engineering, this year's sponsors and donors include the Connecticut Space Grant College Consortium, GE Elfun Society Greater Hartford Chapter, United Technologies Corp., Microsoft, Gerber Scientific, Connecticut Light & Power/Energy Efficiency Team, and Phoenix Investment Partners. Judges at the statewide convention volunteer from numerous Connecticut companies and provide an opportunity for students to speak with role models in such fields as education, engineering, science and patent law.

For more information on the Connecticut Invention Convention, visit the website at http://www.engr.uconn.edu/~cicweb/ or call (860) 793-5299.

March 2000 Releases
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