Young future scientists receive awards in local competition

Christopher Palham, a six year participant at IVC’s Astounding Inventions, is interviewed by volunteer Gee Dickson after the judges viewed his entry. (Andrew Bennett)

Melissa Conser

This past Saturday IVC hosted its 22nd annual Astounding Inventions. Approximately 400 elementary and middle school students, whittled down from 4,000 hopefuls, from both Irvine Unified and Tustin Unified School Districts competed this invention competition.

Every competitor was a winner. First place blue ribbon winners were awarded $50, second place red ribbon winners received $25 and third place winners received a white ribbon and an honorable mention. Among the blue ribbon winners, two are selected based on the “perceived patentability” of their invention and are awarded with a provisional patent application search for their invention. Past winners have made appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The two patent winners from this year’s competition will be announced Feb. 26.

The event featured demonstrations in addition to the competition. A variety of booths were set up to display some amazing inventions including solar panels, telescopes and a sound wave lab.

An outdoor science-themed stage show included happenings throughout the day. Shows titled Mad Science boasted “amazing chemical reactions, bubbling potions and dry ice fog storms.” Another show titled Math Magic demonstrated different magic tricks involving math.

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