Conerly Road School Team Wins District Invention Competition

FUTURE INVENTORS – Conerly Road School students Savannah Sewnarine, Amari Montas and Vihaan Patel and their teacher, Stephen Neely, after the winners were announced.

A team of 5th Graders from the Conerly Road Elementary School won the district’s second annual Invention Competition at Franklin High School on May 10.

Funded by the township-based Sodhani Foundation, the competition is designed to foster innovation and invention in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Teams from the district’s seven elementary schools and two middle school campuses competed internally earlier in the year.

The winners of those school competitions then went on to the May 10 event to crown the district champions.

This was the first year the middle school students participated; they exhibited their inventions but did not participate in the competition.

The winning Conerly Road School team – Savannah Sewnarine, Amari Montas and Vihaan Patel – created a water-cleaning system inspired by tube worms.

Tube worms are deep-sea creatures that live in hot watery flows that spring up from the sea floor.

The group’s invention, which they call “Process Chemosynthesis Biomimicry,” or PCB, uses a membrane to mimic the process of chemosynthesis – the production of food using organic energy rather than sunlight.

But where living organisms use that process to create their food, PCB uses it to filter out and break down garbage found in streams, rivers and oceans.

In their presentation, the students said they chose their project “to make an invention that would filter out trash from water since we know much of sea life today is on the brink of extinction due to scattered plastic.”

The students’ science teacher, Stephen Neely, said he was proud of the team.

“When we walked in here, we knew we had the winning one,” he said.

Neely said he told the students about the tube worms, “how they lived at the bottom of the sea, and they just took off with it.”

Vimal Sodhani, president of the Sodhani Foundation, said he wanted to inspire students to “bring name and fame to Franklin Township schools.”

“I want all the younger generation to do some innovation,” he said. “Some of the kids may become scientists, engineers, doctors.”

Earlier in teh evening, Sodhani said, “Our grant to the Franklin Township public schools will provide a great opportunity which will allow students to participate in great innovation competitions such as STEM.”

“Last year, we witnessed a great invention demonstration by the elementary school students, and this year we have witnessed another great invention demonstration by the elementary and middle school students,” he said.

All three teams will be honored at a special Board of Education meeting on June 5 at Franklin Middle School – Hamilton Street campus.

Here are a few scenes from the event:

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