RIVERDALE -- Drew Filer always hated the blare of an alarm clock on an early school morning.
So the 12-year-old Farr West boy, a sixth-grader at Good Foundations Academy, knew just what he wanted to create for his school's Invention Convention.
"It's called the Aqua Clock," Drew said, demonstrating his prototype.
A string ran from the vibrating top of a silent alarm clock to a cup of water suspended above a military action figure resting peacefully in bed. The string shook the cup, causing water to dump onto the figure's face.
"It's a slow drip, not a loud noise," Drew explained. As a real product, available at, say, Walmart, the Aqua Clock would cost $10 for the normal cup version; $15 for the deluxe, with a bucket of water; and $20 or $30 for the double normal or double deluxe, recommended for couples who share a bed but want to wake up at different times, Drew said.
The convention was the culmination of months of study, said Susan Goers, a sixth-grade teacher at the charter school.
"They spent three months doing research on an inventor and invention, then came up with their own prototype for an invention," Goers said. "They learned scientific problem solving, how to test possible solutions, and how to document the process. They also learned presentation skills and how to properly speak and address questions. It's been amazing how much they have learned to get to the point where they are tonight."
Twenty-three students showed off their creations, which included the Amazing Mouse Snugglie.
"It's not for a real mouse -- it's for a computer mouse," explained inventor John-Michael Hall, 12, from Sunset. John-Michael sewed a soft cloth pocket that holds a heating gel pack and a mouse pad, with enough extra room for the mouse and a hand.
"It releases heat and relaxes your tendons for seven hours," said John-Michael, explaining that the heat pack is good for that long.
"My mom tested it, and she likes it. She has a lot of bills to pay on the computer, and she just plays Facebook a lot."
Madison Hansen, 12, of Clinton, ran a booth demonstrating the Knork, a metal fork with edges ground to a point for better cutting.
"It makes things easier to cut, without having to struggle with a knife and a fork, and keep changing hands," she said. The sharpness level is about that of a butter knife.
"Otherwise, you could really hurt yourself putting food in your mouth, and that would be bad," she said.
A crowd favorite was Seth Shumate's water-weighted, catapult-like marshmallow launcher.
"I always wanted to invent a game where you shoot food into people's mouths," the 12-year-old Layton boy said, as he shot a marshmallow toward a child in line, who was attempting to catch the sugary treat in a cup.
Chase Myers-Cox, 12, from Syracuse, was creator of the Hands-Free Backpack Umbrella. Chase's invention was fabric straps that could be attached to a backpack to hold an umbrella over the wearer's head.
And Tanner Gallego unveiled his product, the doorbell mat, which rings with the pressure of a visitor's foot. Components include a doorbell, a mat, a plywood square, and PVC pipes to hold the mat suspended over the bell. The prototype did not survive the convention, however, because a judge accidentally broke the PVC pipe.
"He said he was sorry," Tanner said. "I can make more, and sell them at Walmart, Costco and at garden centers. I'd charge $39.99 for materials and labor, and a little profit.
"I think it could make a lot of money."