Chicago Area Students Recognized Nationally at Invention Convention
Program Showcases Invention Education, Supports Workforce and Economic Development

June 25, 2021 — Chicago, IL — 50 students from throughout metro Chicago recently participated at the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals competition. These students were among 200 young inventors who had advanced from the 9th Annual Chicago Student Invention Convention held in late May. At that virtual event, students from Kindergarten to 8th Grade competed for prizes that included: connecting students to technology leaders at Molex for further development of their ideas, free prototyping services from mHUB (the midwest’s leading physical product innovation center), and free non-provisional patent services from Thompson Coburn LLP. Some of the winning inventions included:

  • 5th grader Sénadé Sodji’s The Solisquito Cap, inspired by the inventor’s father who grew up in Africa and did not have regular access to electricity or protection from mosquitoes for his late night study sessions. Sénadé invented a solar powered light affixed to a hat that also includes mosquito netting to allow the user to have light and safety from dangerous insects.
  • 8th grader Millan Mallipeddi’s The Soap-Free Ultrasonic Faucet, inspired by the inventor’s desire to eliminate water waste at water treatment plants by reducing the amount of soaps and chemicals used in everyday activities like washing dishes. Millan invented a device that can clear a plate of debris without the use of soap.

Other winning innovations at the Chicago Student Invention Convention included:

One area student took home a prize at the national competition. Arlington Heights 6th-grader Lila Nanisetty won the Best Engineering Award, presented by Maxim Integrated, for Thermo-Bat. “When playing baseball/softball, it is hard to improve your swing, when you can’t tell where on the bat you hit the ball,” she explains. “My invention changes color in the spot that you hit the ball.”

During this school year, over 2,000 area students representing 45 schools, libraries, and youth centers participated with invention education curriculum sponsored by the Chicago program. The inventors used creative problem-solving, design thinking, and engineering skills they learned to create an original solution to solve a problem they care about.

“Our children face a future of new, more demanding, and increasingly complex problems,” said Allison James, Program Manager of the Chicago Student Invention Convention. “We offer a powerful approach to prepare K-8th graders today with the innovative skills they will need tomorrow to succeed in life and work in the 21st century.”

The Chicago Student Invention Convention, a program of Chicago Innovation, inspires curiosity, confidence, and creative problem-solving in youth through a focus on applied STEM and invention education. The program provides training to educators in its free invention curriculum along with student mentorship opportunities, and regional invention convention competitions.

“We need to encourage students’ curiosity by inspiring young people to innovate early,” added Tom Kuczmarski, Founder of Chicago Innovation. “Innovation is all about creating solutions to solve problems, and that’s a mindset that any child can engage with.”

This year’s Chicago Student Invention Convention is made possible by Molex, Encyclopedia Britannica, Horizon Therapeutics, FarmLogix, Cigna, CMC Materials, Radio Flyer, WBBM Newsradio.

More information about the program is available at