The children stood next to their inventions, smiles on their faces.
For many, it was the end of creating something that took hours, some even days. Their inventions included things such as the Dresser Upper, the Cleantosa and the Toddler Teether.
“This experience was a sensational learning experience for our students,” said Amber McAnnaly, a teacher at Union Heights Elementary School. “They have learned the importance of collaboration, compromise, and problem solving.”
The inventions of Union Heights Elementary students were on full display in May as school ended. It was part of Made in Morristown Inventions.
Made in Morristown Inventions is a collaboration with Hamblen County schools, the Hamblen County Career & Technical Education Department, industries in the Lakeway Area, and HC*EXELL’s Arts Build Skills Initiative.
The project partners a local industry with an elementary school in order to expose children and the community to the different industries in our area, and gives students an opportunity to learn through creativity, innovation, communication, problem solving, critical thinking and STEAM.
The first ever Made In Morristown Invention partnership was between Union Heights Elementary and Team Technologies.
In March, Mattea McCann visited 4th grade students in Mrs. McAnally and Mrs. Seal’s fourth grade classes.
She brought materials that are produced at Team Tech and showed several videos of production at the factory.
Students were able to explore the items and were then placed in groups and given an inventors guide with instructions and guidelines with expectations and project outcomes.
Students worked collaboratively in groups and created new inventions using products that the industry produces. They came up with a design proposal, which was approved by the teacher, then created a blueprint, an invention summary, the invention itself, and an advertisement for the invention.
Some of the roles the students fulfilled in their groups were project managers, engineers, architects, and public relations.
The students were very excited to begin this project and got right to work in their groups.
“Our students worked very hard and rose above our expectations,” said Jenni Seal, a teacher at Union Heights Elementary School.
The project concluded on May 9th with a “Made In Morristown Inventors Fair.” Students showcased their inventions to the rest of the school and the community.
“This was an amazing experience for everyone involved,” said Deb Miksa, Arts Build Skills coordinator for HC*EXCELL.
“From brainstorming with Chuck Carter, CTE Director of Hamblen County Schools, to working with the teachers and Team Tech, and finally, watching the students light up with excitement when asked to create something that has never been made before with materials produced right here is Hamblen County, it was pretty incredible to watch students learn creatively while using real world skills.”
She said the hope is for the program to continue to grow and include more schools and industries in the future.