Little Einsteins, the next Stephen Hawkings, young Steve Jobs may be names for those above average students, but for a few Conway kids, invention is the name of the game.
ExploraVision is not only a science competition, but also an opportunity for students to take science head-on. Students are involved in the process of creation, drafting and developing their inventions.
“It’s in a child’s nature to be creative and to live in a dream world. ExploraVision allows students to access that dream and learn to put it on paper in a scientific manner,” said Valerie Land, local ExploraVision sponsor.
Six kids from Conway participated in this year’s competition, Evelyn Land, Erin Meyer, Eli Meyer, Cindy Meyer, Ethan Meyer, Valerie Land and Cameron Holbrook.
Group projects ranged in depth and scope from glasses for the blind to invisibility cloaks for snipers.
The teams are split into age groups. Eli and Erin created goggles for the virtual interior designer. The wearer is given the ability to look at a room and virtually add furniture, art and lighting. As objects are added to a room, the device intelligently prices the items, which can then remotely print off a total due.
“It’s like you don’t have to do the work of moving everything in and out if you don’t like something,” said Evelyn.
The second group designed another eyepiece, but instead of focusing on convenience, Evelyn and her partner looked at healing. The design for glasses for the blind was based on bats.
“There’s a signal that goes out then comes back and if there’s something in front of the person they will hear a sound,” said Evelyn.
As the person steps closer to the object the sound will change to warn the individual. The device can also detect if objects are in motion.
Ethan and Cameron form the final group. Their invention, inspired by the military gilly suit impressed the region judges. Cameron and Ethan were awarded honorable mention.
Their invention, “bends light around snipers using a fabric that is reflective,” said Cameron and “it reduces noise so the sniper can move,” said Ethan.
A slew of prizes were given to participants from math-oriented Magic-8-Balls to laptops and tablets. The winner overall receives a $10,000 scholarship and second place is awarded a $5,000 scholarship.
The inventors explained that the competition “expands imagination. It’s not just to invent, but to see what’s out there and to meet other kids with the same interests,” said Evelyn.
For more information on ExploraVision and how to get involved visit www.exploravision.org.