Fifth-grade entrepreneurs unveil creations in Little Innovators contest


Fifth-grade students presented inventions and innovations to a group of business professionals on May 24 as part of Little Innovators initiative in a Shark Tank themed event.

Little Innovators is part of a new initiative to create authentic learning experiences for students at the elementary level. This school year, students from each grade level between second and fifth grade participated in different enrichment programs such as swimming, tennis and golf, a gardening program, and Little Innovators.

“I want to thank the campuses that opted in for this Little Innovators this year,” Dr. Art Cavazos said. “They are trailblazers for this project. Next year we will have more campuses, and all schools are going to compete against each other.”

Students first presented their projects in their classrooms. From those presentations, two groups from six campuses were chosen to participate in the finals. Groups from Zavala, Long, Sam Houston, Stuart, and Jefferson Elementary had the opportunity to present their ideas at the Shark Tank event in the HCISD board room.

Presentations varied from a heating spatula apparatus to a coupon binder. Students designed and developed their ideas and presentations from May 11-22 under the guidance of their teachers.

Ciara Heep, Lauren Guerra, and Jenna Lozano from Stuart Place Elementary took first place with their protective pipe project. Their idea involved a pipe container that could hide things like money or jewelry. The pipe could easily be camouflaged in the ground next to similar pipes to keep personal valuables safe.

“We learned that you should never give up when you make something,” said Lauren Guerra a fifth-grader at Stuart Place. “Everyone’s invention is going to be different. We didn’t think we were going to get this far, but we did, so this is a great opportunity for us.”

Yvette Gavea, Ashley Gallardo, and Kylee Rosales from Zavala Elementary won second place with the Dog-O-Matic, a robot that could feed and play with other dogs.

“It comes in different shapes and sizes and dog breeds to match your dog,” Zavala fifth-grader Yvette Gavea said. “You can control it with an app on your smartphone. It also has a speaker and a camera to keep in touch with your dog or see what your dog is doing.”

Abigail Rodriguez, Gerardo Rodriguez, and Hector Sanchez from Zavala Elementary won third place with their class fountain dispenser.

“Our product is an innovation because drink fountains already exist, but ours is especially for classrooms,” Zavala Elementary fifth-grader Hector Sanchez said. “Also no electricity is needed to enjoy a drink from our classroom drink dispenser. It works with battery-operated motors.”

The event was judged by Janine Campbell from Janine Marie Photography, Arnold Gomez from Sam’s Club, Frank Castellano from Chick-fil-A, Michelle Robinson from Texas Regional Bank, and Richard Galvan of G5 Internet Services.

To see photos of the event click here.


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