|Ilya Peshko’s "Chore Plinko" makes a game out picking chores to do around the house.|
|Taylor Bowman demonstrates her "Cutting Buddie," a cutting board with a built-in measuring device.|
|Brianna Ryan used repositional glue to attach a packaged baby wipe to a diaper to create "The Diaper Swiper."|
A common theme among the creations at West Jefferson Middle School’s sixth-grade Invention Convention, held March 26, was household chores and how to make them less of a hassle.
Ilya Peshko’s "Chore Plinko" is designed to eliminate the fuss over who does what among family members. Fashioned after the pegboard game of chance on the TV show, "The Price is Right," Chore Plinko participants drop a wooden disk through a series of pegs. The disk lands in one of four bins at the bottom of the board, each of which contains three or four cards labeled with household chores, like washing dishes or folding laundry. The participant gets to pick which of those chores he or she wants to do.
"Sometimes my family fights and argues about chores. Sometimes they think somebody is getting easier chores," said Peshko, who has one brother and two sisters. Chore Plinko leaves it all to chance.
Peshko even found a fun way to handle an unforeseen malfunction of his invention.
"If the disk gets stuck (on the way down), that person has one less chore to do. It’s like a good ‘lose your turn,’ " he said.
While Peshko looked at the big picture of work around the house, other inventors focused on easing specific tasks.
Take, for instance, Brianna Ryan’s "Diaper Swiper." Ryan has three younger brothers, including one who is 2. She often babysits and wanted to streamline the diaper-changing process.
"One time I forgot the wipes. It was a mess because my brother got up and ran away," Ryan explained. "With the Diaper Swiper, the wipes are attached to the diaper, so you never forget them."
When asked what inspired her "Cutting Buddie," a cutting board with a built-in measuring device, Taylor Bowman said it was the time she spends helping her mom in the kitchen.
The invention’s construction involved some trial and error. Bowman said she switched from one-inch nails to one-and-a-half-inch nails to make the Cutting Buddie sturdier. Her second try also involved using an electric sander instead of a sanding block to make a smoother finish.
Chore Plinko, the Diaper Swiper, and the Cutting Buddie are just three of the nearly 90 inventions West Jefferson’s sixth-graders created this year. With input from a panel of judges from Battelle, teachers who organized the local convention will select five inventors to advance to the regional Invention Convention set to take place in May in Columbus.