CENTERVILLE -- If you've got a problem, these young inventors have the solution.
Fifth-grade students at Stewart Elementary School held an Invention Convention on Wednesday, at which they displayed the solutions to what they consider to be life's problems.
To begin the project, teachers asked students to create a "bug book" listing things in their lives that bug them.
Students were then asked to create an invention to solve that problem.
Sam Arnold, 11, said she has allergies and constantly has to walk between the Kleenex box and the garbage can.
Her solution was the O Chair - her abbreviation for organized chair. The contraption attached to her school chair and was complete with a cushion to sit on, a Kleenex box hanging from the left side and a garbage pocket on the right side.
"It's organized and portable, and it has my tissues in it, so I don't have to sit next to the garbage can," Sam said.
Jenny York, who teaches a fifth-grade class, said her students have participated in this annual project for more than 15 years.
"Because we discuss the Industrial Revolution and the age of invention, this project fits beautifully into our core," York said.
"It gets them thinking about the processes of what is an invention. How do they come about? Are they created out of necessity, or because people want something bigger, better or faster?"
Josh Beckman, 11, said the thing that bugged him most was constantly dropping the slippery bar of soap in the shower.
His solution was the Soap Sponge. Josh created a pocket inside an ordinary sponge that comfortably holds a bar of soap.
When the sponge gets wet, the soap seeps through, providing a slip-free wash.
"I've actually used it, and it works perfect," Josh said.
He also pointed out that his mom likes the way his soap sponge also functions as a car, closet or house freshener when the soapy smell escapes the dry sponge, making its surroundings smell fresh and clean.
"You can set it anywhere and it will make your house smell perfect," he said.
Part of the project was to learn about patents and how they work.
Each student filled out a patent certificate, swearing that they were the original inventor of their creation.
Josh said he plans to get a real patent some day and "make a ton of money."
York said many of the inventions focus on simplifying or eliminating a chore the students have to do at home.
Examples of such inventions included the automatic dog feeder and the Laundrinator robot that automatically washes, dries and irons laundry.
Several students wanted to make the Christmas season less stressful.
Isabelle Forman, 10, created the Clip 'N Shine by attaching small battery-operated LED lights to hair clips.
The lights can then be attached to Christmas tree branches, saving her the trouble of untangling strands of Christmas lights.
Brigham Burningham, 10, created the Automatic Christmas Tree Waternator, consisting of a funnel attached to a long tube. The funnel was situated near the top of the Christmas tree and the tube wound around and through the branches until it reached the tree's water stand.
"I'm lazy and I don't like to bend down," Brigham said. "So this makes it so there are no water spills or scratches from the branches."
"The students learn that there's always a solution to a problem," said York. "They also learn that it doesn't have to be earthshaking to call it an invention."