2024 Invention Convention Recap

Norfolk Innovation Corridor 
2024 Invention Convention Recap Blog 
May 2024

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, more than 40 students – twice the number from last year’s inaugural event – representing Norfolk Public Schools and a school in Smithfield participated in Virginia’s Regional Invention Convention at The Chrysler Museum of Art in Downtown Norfolk.

Sponsored by the NIC, with a portion of the funding from Raytheon Technologies and the Virginia General Assembly through VPCC and COVA STEM Hub, the event brought out students across different grade levels eager to showcase their innovations.

Invention Convention Worldwide is a hands-on pre-K to 12th grade curriculum that trains students in problem identification, problem solving, entrepreneurship and creativity skills through real-world invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship learning.

Students from Lindenwood Elementary, Ruffner Middle School, Lake Taylor Middle School, and Smithfield High School, supported by dedicated teachers, worked diligently to identify problems and create solutions that may not have been considered. After spending time researching the market for competitive solutions and experimenting with different prototypes to arrive at their final product, the students were excited to present their inventions to an esteemed group of judges and guests.

2024 Invention Convention Group of Kids
2024 Invention Convention Kids with Project
2024 Invention Convention Medals
2024 Invention Convention Judges


Professionals from various industries lent their expertise to evaluate the inventions presented at the convention. These judges included Eileen Brewer from 757 Accelerate; Edward “Kip” and Jennifer Eure, New Horizons Regional Education Centers; Giovanna Genard of PRA Group; Jennifer Griffith, who helped bring Invention Convention to town; Kisha Moore, Hummingbird Macarons; Paul Robinson, RISE Resilience; Andrew Roper, Hampton Roads Community Foundation; Jay Sarcone, EY Parthenon; Nance Schick, Third Ear Conflict Resolution; Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick, Chrysler Museum of Art; Lori Upham, ReAlta; Dr. Bryan Upham, CHKD; and BC Wilson, Sequentum, Chazona Baum of Tingles Lab; Donna Phaneuf, VIA Design Architects; Susan Sidersky, AT&T; Destini Harrell, Community Amplifier; and James Doe, Innovate Hampton Roads.

Inventions and Awards:

  • First Place: Derrius Jones and Destiny Webb*, sixth graders at Lake Taylor Middle School, received First Place for their “Tray Warmer” invention.  This invention addressed the issue of hot school lunches served cold. *Webb was not in attendance at the event.
  • Second Place: Evelyn Newman, Vincent Jaime Sawyer, Jayvionte Newby, juniors, and Mya Elliot, a senior at Smithfield High School, received Second Place for their invention titled “Solar Power Air Quality Monitor.”
  • Third Place: Peyton Bosmans and Jaxx Liebhart, seniors at Smithfield High School, for the “Critter Feeder.”
  • Resilience Award: Edmond Gordon, a fifth grader at Lake Taylor Elementary School, received the Resilience Award for his invention titled “The Lazy Plant Feeder II.”  Edmond epitomized resilience by working to improve last year’s invention.
  • Honorable Mentions: Trenton Robinson, Danny Adkins, Za’Khi Harrell, and Zamier Mitchell, all sixth graders at Lake Taylor Middle School, received honorable mentions for their invention of the “IMAC Protective Case.”

The success of this year’s Invention Convention is a testament to the commitment of each student-inventor and the dedication of the hard-working teachers who supported the students at each phase of the project.

Norfolk Innovation Corridor brought the Invention Convention to our area as it believes it’s never too early to prime the pipeline for tech talent.  And who knows, we might just encounter some of their innovations ourselves in the future.

“The Invention Convention program was phenomenal for my students.  The confidence and skills that they displayed and developed were so evident as they presented their project.  I am so very thankful for the great opportunity that this program affords all of the students in Norfolk.  My parents are also very proud to have their children participate in this exciting experience!”

Ms. Valencia W. Moore, M. Ed
Lindenwood Elementary School

Those interested in learning more about Invention Convention or how to participate next year are encouraged to reach out to Linda Peck, Executive Director at [email protected]

Check out these videos about the Invention Convention: