Central Oregon Students Announced as Winners of the 25th Annual Inventerprise Science Contest

December 1, 2016

Central Oregon Students Announced as Winners of the

25th Annual Inventerprise Science Contest


Bend, Ore., December 1, 2016 – New school machines and devices ruled the 25th annual Inventerprise contest, a science problem-solving contest sponsored by Bend Research, a division of Capsugel, with support from Bend-La Pine Schools and Central Oregon Community College.

Central Oregon students in grades K-12 were tasked with inventing something that would improve a familiar place: their schools. The young inventors rose to the challenge, creating solutions that focused on transportation, safety, learning, recreation and nutrition. Inventions included smart watches, handwriting gadgets, and robots that can serve lunch, pick up trash and even keep students engaged in learning.


More than 1,400 students from 38 Central Oregon schools participated in this year’s contest. Judges reviewed approximately 1,100 entries – the most the contest has ever received – and announced the winners today.


“As a leader in a technology-driven industry, Bend Research continues to place a high priority on supporting science education. That’s why we are always striving to find new ways to excite and encourage children and young adults to pursue scientific understanding in their everyday lives,” said Dory Koehler-King, Inventerprise Contest Director and Sr. Chemical Engineer at Bend Research. “The Inventerprise contest is one of several important outlets for this in our local community. The creativity with which the students approached this year’s problem statement was inspiring and gives us hope that this generation will be integral in solving the world’s most pressing problems.” 


Students from Redmond Proficiency Academy swept the high school contest, winning $1,800 to split among the top three projects. David Novotny invented a working model of his pedal desk with a hand crank that lights up a beacon or sounds an alarm. The invention, which earned David $600, enables students to burn off some energy while powering their school. An innovative classroom modeled after fish hatcheries earned teammates Sam Gilbertson and Lyn Trail $300 each. Arely Aguilar and Lily Harrang analyzed the would-be energy savings from making their school meat-free and concluded this was the easiest way to conserve energy on a large scale. They also earned $300 each for their project.


In the middle school division, two students received grand prizes. Sophia Gonzalez and Hannah Tranby from Pilot Butte Middle School teamed up to create “Safer Quaker Bleachers,” an idea born out of their concern about the school’s proximity to the Cascadia subduction zone, which is likely to trigger a massive earthquake in our lifetime.  The bleachers are designed to seat people for assemblies and sporting events and feature an added benefit in case of an earthquake: a safe space under the reinforced bleachers where they can wait out the shaking. For their prize, Sophia and Hannah each get to choose from an Apple Watch, a mountain bike, a GoPro® camera, a tablet computer or a season pass to Mount Bachelor.


Hundreds of students in lower grades submitted entries, either individually or as teams of up to three. Several students at each grade level will receive prizes for their submissions along with an invitation to a special Science Night program held in their honor at the Bend Research laboratories in Tumalo. Some inventions that made the biggest impressions include the following:

·         An inspired fourth grader designed a “Super Bus” with all the safety features you would imagine in the 21st century, including padded walls, roll bars, shatter-proof windows and ceiling curtain airbags.

·         A team of first graders devised a bookshelf that would hold more books and keep them better organized than current models. Students can select a book with the push of a button and avoid the potential danger of falling books. 

·         Some kindergarteners want to zip line to their school, which does not offer bus service.  They imagined setting up stations in the four quadrants of Bend where students could access their rides by fingerprint and zip off to school high above the city.

·         A fifth grader was looking out for his classmates who are confined to wheelchairs. He proposed some clever modifications to playground equipment, such as replacing stairs with ramps and installing a swing and slide that children can use without exiting their wheelchairs.

Winners at each grade level, and the schools they attend, are listed below.  Additional information can be found at http://inventerprise.bendresearch.com.


Inventerprise 2016 Winners


Cole Ruff – Buckingham Elementary

Brennon Holcomb, Jack Ridolf, Joannie Walsh – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School

Brooklyn Ball, Kole Marino – St. Thomas Academy

Nathan Parsons, Ruby Bluhm – Westside Village Magnet School                                               

Grade 1                                 

Connall McMullen, Landon Martin – Buckingham Elementary

Waylon Mullins, Hazel Eckhoff – Cascades Academy

Connor Wall, Magnolia Wickwire – Elk Meadow Elementary

Miles Richards – High Lakes Elementary

Graham Finley – Homeschool

Jasper Lovejoy, Maliah Michael, Isaac Westfall, Mateo Manguiat, Jettis Markell, Skylar Purcell – Morning Star Christian School

Marika Sowerby, Jaden Mason, Ira Cook – Westside Village Magnet School                                               


Grade 2                                 

Skye Knox – Bear Creek Elementary

Rhianwen Hornsby – Buckingham Elementary

Finn Stancliff, Will Stancliff – John Tuck Elementary

Kannon Whiting – Madras Elementary

Scotty Anderson, Christian Dorman, Devon Schwarz – Morning Star Christian School

Liam Brannin – R. E. Jewell Elementary

Emilin Gray, Cole Hartfield, Noah Cory, Drew Muilenburg, Colt Pupo, Ryder Faulhaber – St. Thomas Academy

James Heinly, Dante Anthony, Anne Bell, Maya Fieldhouse – Westside Village Magnet School


Grade 3                                 

Kianea Bearman Ava Leach – Metolius Elementary

Wyatt Nickell – Sage Elementary

Zachary Hollibaugh, Sam Kasmeyer, Colton Crye, Logan Forrester, Omani Spalding – Silver Rail Elementary

Alyson Ware, Colton Andrews, Daria Martin, Kaylee Pex, Landon Mabus, Jayden Mata, Jayce Evans, Lily Hardy, Wesley Borden, Kyndell Goodman, Kaden Aernie, Mason Stewart – Tom McCall Elementary

Cedar Yasord, Kevin Walder – Westside Village Magnet School


Grade 4                                 

Julian Duran – Buckingham Elementary

Taylor Arata, Elia Roseborrough, Aspen Barndollar, Isiah Ball, Hunter Groundwater, Simone Alexander, Ryan Hansen, Owen Clark, Allison Patron, Kylan Cathcart – Juniper Elementary

Liam Keel – Lava Ridge Elementary

Addy Adams – Metolius Elementary

Baylee Hayes, Shaeli McLain, Ayla Stewart, Rowan Kamp, Creig Smith, Blayton Apker, Rhy Sigfrid, Adriana Lammers, Ukiah Monson, McKenzie Kirk – Tom McCall Elementary

Olivia Thom – Westside Village Magnet School


Grade 5

Ainsley Knox – Bear Creek Elementary

Tyler Llewellyn, Landon Mitchell, Tanner Varcoe, Emma Robey, Kelcee Robey – Buckingham Elementary

Lucy Mullins – Cascades Academy

Andrew Pineda, Avery Jepson, Pippa Souza, Nate Miller, Jacob Heron, Maxwell Taylor – High Lakes Elementary

Katarina Cedolin, Olivia Casellini, Marley Foster-Wexler, Shea Miller, Annikka Nissen, Malia Barnes, Jake Sechler, Bridger Cole – Juniper Elementary

Cameron Collins – Ponderosa Elementary

Elexus May, Jillian Bremont, Zaida Burk, Trisha Johnson, Noah Eisbach, Trey Irwin, Grace Maggio – Tom McCall Elementary School    

Neve Gerard – Tumalo Community School

Kathy Chen, Kayleen Galvan, Helena Greene – Vern Patrick Elementary

Ocean Kezer, Maggie Spampinato, Miranda Kajikawa, Emily Krehbiel – Westside Village Magnet School


Middle School                      

Maddy Beck, Clair McDonald, Hayden Knight, Ashlynn Bowles, Hannah Jadzak, Nathaniel Rubenstein, Jasper Fievet, Luke Williams, Jacob Ashby, Harper Justema, Wren Miller – Cascade Middle School

Sasha Schotthofer, Audrey Wallace, Manhattan Wood, Fiona Young Fenstermacher, Cassidy Vandall, Elorey Vather – Cascades Academy

Julia Williams, Jenna Dicintio, Marjorie Heath, Hannah Miller, Samantha Nieto, Lindsey Lamb, Taleah Villafan – Culver Middle School

Addison Dorning – Elton Gregory Middle School

Piper Brannin – High Desert Middle School

Teaghan Knox – Homeschool

Delaney Tol, Lucy Veis – Pacific Crest Middle School

Holiday Barnes – Rimrock Expeditionary Middle School

Oliver Colvin, Riley Curtis, Aaron Maloney – St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School

Sophie Flanagan, Cooper Anderson, Wynter Barlow, Ranginui Sowerby – Westside Village Magnet School


Middle School Grand Prize

Sophia Gonzalez, Hannah Tranby – Pilot Butte Middle School          


High School                         

David Novotny, Arely Aguilar, Lily Harrang, Sam Gilbertson, Loryn Trail – Redmond Proficiency Academy



The Inventerprise Contest began in 1992 as an outgrowth of a business-education partnership between Bend Research and the Bend-La Pine School District to promote science education and enrich students’ educational experience.  Thirteen years ago, Central Oregon Community College joined the effort by helping to plan and run the contest. For more information regarding the Inventerprise 2016 contest or to request contest rules, please visit http://inventerprise.bendresearch.com/ or call Amanda Pluntze or Nate Glutting at Bend Research at (541) 382-4100, or contact the contest director, Dory Koehler-King at (541) 382-4100.


For 41 years, Bend Research, now a division of Capsugel, has worked with clients to create value by advancing new medicines that improve human health and to solve their most difficult scientific and technical problems. This success is based on the company’s ability to develop, advance, and commercialize pharmaceutical technologies, which grow from a solid base of fundamental scientific and engineering understanding. Bend Research is a leader in novel formulations, including spray-dried dispersion (SDD) and hot-melt extrusion (HME) formulations, as well as controlled-release, inhalation, and biotherapeutics technologies.

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For media inquiries, please contact: Phoenix Barringer at phoenix.barringer@capsugel.com