Michelle Stahl and her daughter Cate, who is a second grader at Pierce Elementary School in Bennington, were driving to Nashua one day earlier this year when they started brainstorming inventions.
They only had a couple of weeks to come up with an idea to submit in an Inventions Convention at the school in February, so they had to act rather quickly.
“At first, [Cate] said she wanted to make a time machine,” Michelle said. “But I told her we only have two weeks, so we probably needed to come up with something a little simpler.”
The two started pitching ideas, and suddenly Cate had an idea.
“It was literally like a light bulb went off,” Michelle said.
Cate’s idea was a contraption that you stick your arm through to hold it steady when you have to get a shot at the doctor’s office. Cate said the arm holder would prevent people from squirming, which would make the process go faster and, hopefully, be less painful. The invention was later dubbed the “Hold Still-inator.”
Michelle said she and Cate got to work on the prototype not long after, using a cardboard box that they designed to fit an American Girl doll.
The invention was presented along with 15 to 20 other submissions at the school’s third-annual convention. Seven students from that initial group presented their inventions at the Young Inventors’ regional competition held at Southern New Hampshire University on Sunday, April 2. There were 228 students total in grades K through 12 from 48 school across New Hampshire and Massachusetts who competed in the event.
Bennington elementary students took home three medals at the event.
Cate’s “Hold Still-inator” won third place in the medical-invention category, and first place for Best in Grade.
First grader Noah Regis won first prize in the Caring for You Pets category for his invention called the “Guinea Pig-inator,” a carrier designed for safely transporting a guinea pig.
“It’s a little contraption, sort of shaped like a cave and it’s lined with fleece,” Noah’s mom, Jeannette said about the invention, adding that the little critters can easily walk in and out of it.
She said Noah was gifted guinea pigs for his birthday this year.
“He really likes to hold them, but they don’t necessarily like to be held,” she said.
There was a problem, and Noah solved it.
PES students James Healey, Olivia Healey, Adeline Regis, Harley Wilson, and Evelyn Wilmoth also presented their inventions during the competitions.
“Everyone at Pierce School is proud of our young inventors and their accomplishments,” Principal John Jordan said in a press release.
There is a chance some of the contestants could be selected to move on to a national competition, although those names have not yet been released.
Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or email@example.com.