Holy Cross Academy students and parents had two special visitors stop by St. Thomas Aquinas High School on Jan. 16.

Holy Cross Academy students and parents had two special visitors stop by St. Thomas Aquinas High School on Jan. 16. Dr. Claire Out-of-Hair and Capt. Gadget held a hands-on demonstration and assembly for Invention Convention.

St. Thomas and the Holy Cross Academy are joining together to encourage students to get involved with finding problems and inventing solutions. They also want students to know they can enter their inventions in a regional competition for college scholarships.

“We are excited to offer this science and engineering opportunity for our students,” said Kristie Cramer, director of enrollment at Holy Cross Academy. “Holy Cross Catholic Schools have a STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Math) focus and we are always looking for opportunities like Invention Convention for our students to express their interests in science and discovering the world.”


The Invention Convention works with school districts to help students learn through the invention process. In doing so, the students build critical thinking and developing communication skills. Students seek out an everyday, interesting problem. Then, they develop a solution, document their experience and build a prototype to demonstrate their invention.

Students will be selected by their school district to compete in a regional competition in the spring. Students will compete for scholarships and other prizes. The assembly is used to teach the kids and their parents what the process is for creating inventions and about building a prototype for the competition.

There are three regional competitions in Ohio.

Kids in kindergarten through eighth-grade can compete for college scholarships. There is an overall grand prize scholarship of $2,500 given every year. Students can compete individually or in teams.

“Invention Convention supports STEAM initiatives throughout all of Ohio,” said Abby Fisher (a.k.a. Dr. Claire). “Our goal is to inspire confidence, creativity, and problem solving in our youth through hands-on assemblies like the one we are holding tonight.”

As the two got the assembly kicked off, the first order of the evening was to help kids understand what Invention Convention was all about. They played a video about Invention Convention. They also asked for volunteers to help them demonstrate how to invent a prototype. The kids also got to play a few games related to inventing.

Rodney Reese (a.k.a. Captain Gadget) reinforced the process for the kids a number of times telling them, “The first step in inventing something is to identify a problem, then you invent the solution to the problem.”


The kickoff was held at St. Thomas Aquinas because the school has already made the decision to participate in the program.

“St. Thomas Middle School will be implementing Invention Convention in the sixth-grade classes,” Cramer said. “It will be optional for the seventh and eighth graders. We are leaving the decision whether to participate with each of our schools.”

Cramer said the assembly helped kickoff the National Catholic Schools and National School Choice Week which ran Jan. 25 through 31. National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. National School Choice Week shines a spotlight on the need for varying education options for all children.